The Cavaliers have finally announced the news that everyone was already expecting. It was reported on Sunday night that the Cavaliers have requested either rookie Jayson Tatum or young stretch forward Jaylen Brown in order to complete the trade.
The Cavs knew about Isaiah Thomas’ hip problem, but it seems like the problem may be much worse than the team realized. Many argue that Thomas should have opted for surgery right after his departure from the playoffs, but Thomas kept his options open for the tail end of the series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With Thomas being hurt, it makes the trade seem much less appetizing for Cleveland. The Cavs would only be getting Jae Crowder from the trade at first, Thomas would be out and then the other part of the trade was the pick in next year’s draft. The pick is one of the better parts of the trade, but it’s hard to trade the Cavaliers’ second best player for a draft pick that’s not until next season.
Jaylen Brown is one of the players that Cleveland’s front office has been eyeing from the start of last season. Brown is one of the more athletic players in the NBA and was invited to the dunk contest last season but declined to go in order to pay more attention to his playing ability in general. Brown struggled at the start of his rookie season last year but found his footing towards the very end of the season. Many questioned coach Brad Stevens’ decision to not play Brown as much towards the end of the playoffs, when many knew they didn’t stand a chance. Brown has a small sample size for the Cavs to look at from last season, but many predict he’s only going to get better as he progresses. Imagine if he was to learn behind Lebron James.
The other player Cleveland has had their eyes on in terms of sweetening the deal between the Celtics and the Cavs is Jayson Tatum. Tatum has yet to play in a NBA game but many expect him to be one of the better rookies in a loaded draft class. Tatum has the length to be a force at the small forward position. He’s listed at 6’8″ and weighs 205 pounds but lacks elite athleticism at his position. Tatum is equipped with fast hands and a unique rebounding ability; he averaged 7.3 rebounds per game in 29 games at Duke during his first and only season.
The Cavaliers can’t go wrong with either player if they were to add them onto the deal already. It may not be worth to replace Crowder with either of these players but adding them onto the deal would only make it better. Adding Jaylen Brown would add another young forward that can be added into the already deep lineup. Adding Tatum would be different as you aren’t entirely sure how his game will translate at the NBA level, but he would still be interesting to have at the small forward position.
The Celtics probably won’t allow the Cavs to have either player, but they would be much more willing to part with Brown as they have invested a great deal already in Tatum. Tatum is looking to take over Brown’s spot in the rotation and could be a future superstar for the C’s.
Follow the author: @JacobLinkous