The Cleveland Cavaliers have been busy rebuilding their roster throughout this season and have pulled off yet another deal before Thursday’s trade deadline.
Cleveland sent guard Alec Burks to the Sacramento Kings in a three-team trade with the Houston Rockets and received guard Brandon Knight, forward Marquese Chriss and a 2019 first-round pick according to multiple reports.
Houston received former Cavs guard Iman Shumpert along with Cleveland’s Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin in the deal and Sacramento will also receive a second-round pick from Cleveland.
Burks played in just 34 games for the Cavs after being sent to Cleveland from Utah in the Kyle Korver trade in late November.
The eight-year veteran averaged 11.6 points on 40% shooting (37.8% from three-point distance) along with 5.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game during his time with the Cavaliers.
As for Cleveland, the team continues to rebuild the roster as well as rebuild it’s assets as it looks towards the future of the franchise.
The team has stockpiled draft picks while shaking up the roster in trades and with this latest deal, they have collected two future first round picks as well as six second round picks with the trades of Korver, George Hill, Sam Dekker and most recently Rodney Hood who the team traded to Portland for Stauskas, Baldwin and two second round picks on Sunday.
Knight is basically thrown into the deal to match salaries with Burks for Cleveland to take back. He hasn’t played much this season, only appearing in 12 games and averaging around 10 minutes per contest.
The former first-round pick missed all of last season with a torn ACL and is trying to come back from that injury. Prior to it, Knight was a decent scoring combo guard but hasn’t lived up to the hype that he came from Kentucky with when the Detroit Pistons selected him with the 8th pick in 2011.
He’s making $14.6 million this season and is due $15.6 million next season which could make him an attractive trade asset as an expiring contract unless the Cavaliers opt to buyout the remainder of his contract.
Chriss is also a former first-round pick that hasn’t exactly lived up to the hype so far. In three seasons with Phoenix and Houston, the former eighth overall pick has averaged 7.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in 170 games (124 starts).
This season with Houston, he’s played in 16 games (6.5 minutes per contest) and averaging 1.8 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.
He’s only 21 years old so there is still time for him to develop as a solid role player but with an already crowded front court in Cleveland and the fact that he’ll be a free agent this summer, it’ll be tough for him to make any kind of impact for the Cavaliers.
The draft pick is probably the biggest return from this deal for the Cavaliers. It’s lottery protected and barring an epic collapse by the Rockets down the stretch, the Cavaliers will be using this pick in June’s NBA Draft.
It currently sits 21st overall according to Tankathon.com but with the number of extra picks at the team’s possession right now, hypothetically the Cavaliers could package the pick with either extra picks or a player and move up higher in the order to get a prospect they have their eye on.
I would like to think this is the last move the Cavaliers make before the deadline but with the team essentially tanking to ensure they have a shot at the #1 pick and Duke’s Zion Williamson being the prize, it wouldn’t shock me if the team makes another move to ensure the tank continues to go as planned.