The Cleveland Cavaliers are giving their all to get back to the NBA Finals for a 4th straight year and defeat the Golden State Warriors. In order to do so, they must add another threat. The Warriors retooled with Kevin Durant to give the team a Big 4 and LeBron James and Co will have to do the same. However, they may not be able to. While the trade talk has centered around a possible Paul George or Jimmy Butler deal, it may be the unspoken trade with the New York Knicks involving Kristaps Porzingis that may be what the Cavs need.
Any team with LeBron James has a chance to win a title. However, as we’ve seen over the years– he needs help. His first crack at the Warriors didn’t go so well with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving on the sidelines nursing injuries. Their second time– everyone was healthy and the Cavs walked away with a ring. And the third, well, lets’ just say the Warriors were slightly better.
The Cavs have a chance to close the gap on the Warriors Super Team but instead of going after George or Butler– why not bring in a player like Porzingis who provides the Cavs with that one element they have lacked the past 3 seasons– defense? On the year, Love averaged 19 points, 11 rebounds and shot 43 percent from the field. Porzingis averaged 18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks and shot 45 percent from the field.
Defense wins championships and let’s be honest here– Kevin Love cannot defend Draymond Green. Tristan Thompson is average at best and during spurts in the Finals, Zaza Pachulia was clearly outplaying the Khole Kardashian boy toy.
If the New York Knicks are serious about the possibility of moving Porzingis then the Cavaliers must pounce on this opportunity. Porzingis stands tall like a Center at 7-3 and shoots like a SF. Love is a weapon on the perimeter and rebounding but where he fails, Porzingis excels. Porzingis is young and active. Love is slow-footed and has to rely on an entry pass to get him going. Porzingis can put the ball on the floor for a player his size and his defense is title ready.
If Porzingis was on hand against the Warriors the Finals may have gone another way.
But a deal like this will hinge on Phil Jackson and the haul he wants. What the Cavs can offer is Love, Deron Williams, and Iman Shumpert. Jackson has the Knicks in rebuild mode and there is no telling how long Carmelo Anthony will stick to his No Trade Clause. Trading Porzingis does not seem like a smart move but if K.P. is no longer feeling the direction the team is headed it may be wise to trade a player before he becomes a locker room and on-court distraction.
The Cavs, after representing the East in 3 straight Finals may have found their missing piece in Porzingis.