While it may not be the deal that the Cleveland Cavaliers have been holding out hope for, it is still a solid haul.
According to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 in Cleveland, the Phoenix Suns have made an offer of Eric Bledsoe, Dragan Bender and the Miami Heat’s 2018 first-round draft pick in exchange for Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving.
Bender is a solid prospect and although the Cavs have preferred Josh Jackson, Bender was the 4th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and packs a ton of upside.
Bender is tall and can shoot which is a very valuable asset to have in today’s NBA.
Let’s not forget that Eric Bledsoe would be headed to Cleveland as well and he is coming off of the best year of his career.
Not only is Bledsoe a fearless, high-volume scorer, he was also one of the Suns’ best defenders.
While this package doesn’t net the Cavs Jackson or Devin Booker, this allows them a proven starter of All-Star caliber, a high end prospect with a high ceiling and a draft pick to help them in the future.
Considering the reluctance of teams such as Phoenix and the Denver Nuggets to meet the trade demands of Cleveland, this may be the best deal that Cleveland has and will have on the table.
With Irving gone and LeBron James likely on his way out soon as well the Cavs need to be thinking about the future and young assets to stack in order to forge forward after Irving and James’ eventual departures.
This package gives them value for now and assets for the future as well.
Cavaliers, Raptors Interested in Dragan Bender
Bender can still turn his career around, but he has issues with 3 point shooting and the physicality of the NBA game.
Cavs Expected to Waive and Stretch J.R. Smith
According to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor, the Cavs plan to stretch his contract over the next three years.
Smith played in only 11 games during the 2018-19 season as the Cavs veered towards a youth movement.
Cavs’ Larry Drew Discusses Brandon Knight’s Play of Late
The Cleveland Cavaliers knew that when they acquired Brandon Knight in a trade deadline deal with the Houston Rockets, that they were acquiring a player that may be a ways away from returning to form.
Knight, who missed the entire 2017-2018 season and appeared in only 14 games this season due to a torn ACL, has been showing signs of a return to form in his short stint with the Cavs, and it has caught the attention of Cavaliers’ head coach Larry Drew.
“I know what he’s gone through over a period with the injury and trying to come back from it,” Drew said of Knight, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic.
“I know what he’s capable of doing. I know what type of player he is. He’s a fierce competitor. Not only does he do it from an offensive end, but defensively, he’s a tough kid. That addition in our lineup gives us a little versatility as far as we can move people around. … And I know how bad he wants to get back to the Brandon Knight of old. Certainly if he can get back to that, you guys are going to see a terrific player.”
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