The Teardown Continues: Cavs Piling Up Picks
When the Cavs shipped Kyle Korver back to Utah just over a week ago, they got a taste for rebuilding. With today's trade of George Hill and Sam Dekker to the Milwaukee Bucks, they decided they want the whole damn thing.
In trading the pair, the Cavs acquired a panoply of assets -- some good, some bad. The players they took in return will have little on-court value, starting with John Henson, who a week and a half ago underwent surgery on his left wrist to repair a torn ligament. At the time, Bucks officials had expressed hope that he might return for the playoffs; since the Cavs have no such aspirations, Henson is likely done for the season, and will now become a $9.7 million expiring contract for the Cavs to use in the 2019-20 season.
Matthew Dellavedova, while somewhat reviled throughout the league as an overly rugged player whose effort supersedes his ability, is beloved by Cavs fans, having been a member of their 2016 championship winning team. The timing of that year worked perfectly for Delly, who finished that season as an unrestricted free agent at the age of 24, had just finished distinguishing himself as a key back-up on a championship team. He was entering the market in the Summer of the Spike, when every team had money, and not enough players to take it. A four-year, $38 million contract was the result.
Put those two together, and the Bucks were paying almost $20 million for 7 PPG-6 PPG-3 APG combined -- not the best value. Now the Cavs get that 'output'. Instead, the Cavs are officially handing the keys off the offense to Collin Sexton, and not worrying about George Hill's role now that he has returned from his early season injury. Dellavedova can definitely provide competent back-up minutes for Sexton, and will bring professionalism and effort to an increasingly young locker room.
But the most valuable assets in this deal are the two picks the Cavs will receive: a 1st rounder and 2nd rounder, both in the 2021 draft -- potentially the first draft where high school players will again be eligible for selection with the end of one-and-done.
The real price isn't Hill or Dekker, but the $18 million in cap space that they're now committed to in 2019-20. But as a non-traditional free agent destination, it's in the Cavs interest to use their space to acquire picks and players who might not make the decision to come there independently.
Just two moves into the rebuild, the Cavs have turned Korver, Hill, and Dekker into Alec Burks, John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova, one 1st round pick, and three 2nd round picks. Moreover, having completed the deal just before 6pm, these players are all eligible to be included into subsequent aggregate trades prior to the February 7th NBA trade deadline. There are more moves to come, but the Cavs are off to a terrific start.