A week ago it looked like the Cleveland Cavaliers might actually be sellers ahead of the NBA trade deadline but a two-game winning streak changed that mindset in a hurry and now the Cavs are looking for help via trade.
The Cavs may be looking to boost their front court and two big men are currently available – likely for a relatively low return cost – in Suns center Greg Monroe and Sixers center Jahlil Okafor.
Both Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com and Sam Amico of Amico Hoops believe Monroe is a better fit for the Cavs than Okafor.
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Here is Vardon: “The Cavs don’t currently view Jahlil Okafor as a fit. As for Greg Monroe, the interest in him would be higher, sources indicated to me. Monroe is 6-11 and 265 pounds, but he really isn’t a shot blocker (which Cleveland lacks). He’s a scorer (though, this season, he’s averaging just 6.8 points per game). The Cavs, though flawed, have a crowded rotation already, so pursuing Monroe in any way would probably follow or coincide with other roster changes.”
Here is Amico: “The Cleveland Cavaliers have a strong interest in Greg Monroe, and are exploring ways to obtain the Phoenix Suns’ newly acquired center, league sources told Amico Hoops … The Suns are reportedly looking to move Monroe, either via trade or contract buyout. While he would prefer to join a contender, Monroe said he is open to remaining with the Suns.”
Amico also mentioned that both the Spurs and Nuggets have interest in Monroe.
The Cavs would likely part with some combination of Iman Shumpert or Tristan Thompson in a Monroe trade.
As for Okafor, he’s been mentioned in trade rumors to just about every team in the NBA in recent months. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski even mentioned the Suns as a landing spot for Okafor immediately after Phoenix acquired Monroe.
Here is Wojnarowski: “Before Dec. 6, the Suns need a spot to convert the two-way contract of productive rookie guard Mike James into a regular roster spot. Also, an open roster spot would give the Suns the chance to become involved in trade talks with Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor, a 21-year-old former No. 3 overall pick with whom the Suns have had interest, league sources said.”
The Hawks and Bulls remain the most likely landing spots when it comes to an Okafor trade.