The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team that has been one of the biggest surprises of the season. While a lot of analysts have suggested that they wouldn't be competitive prior to the start of the season, the Cavaliers have managed to surpass expectations, and are currently 4th in the Eastern Conference with a 32-20 record.
There have recently been rumors that the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking for a "combo guard" to pair with Darius Garland, and are reportedly willing to give up their 2022 first-round pick to get someone like Eric Gordon or Caris LeVert.
In this trade scenario, we provide a framework where the Cleveland Cavaliers send out a trade package to get an elite combo guard. That combo guard is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The trade package would be centered around young players Collin Sexton and Isaac Okoro.
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Oklahoma City Thunder Receive: Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro, Ricky Rubio, 2022 first-round pick (CLE), 2022 second-round pick (SAS)
Cleveland Cavaliers Add A Good Combo Guard To Their Core
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is one of the most underrated guards in the league, partly because he's playing for a lottery team. Gilgeous-Alexander is currently putting up 22.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 5.5 APG on the season. He isn't particularly efficient, but perhaps that comes from the fact that he is the primary offensive option on a team that doesn't have much offensive talent.
If he were to get traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Darius Garland would immediately become one of the best young backcourts in the entire league. Both players can create their own shot and score at a high level, while also being able to set up their teammates.
Giving up Collin Sexton and Isaac Okoro in this deal would hurt. Sexton has shown that he is a good scorer in the past, and Okoro is a very good wing defender. However, a player of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's caliber is worth giving up two good young talents and some lower-value draft picks.
Overall, this deal would add a good combo guard to a core that already has Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley. If this sort of deal is on the table, then the Cleveland Cavaliers should definitely pursue it.
Oklahoma City Thunder Get A Solid Trade Package For Their Young Guard
From a value standpoint, this is a great trade package for the Oklahoma City Thunder if they were to decide to move on from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. They would be getting a good scorer as the centerpiece of the package, while also getting some other assets that would help their rebuild. Ricky Rubio would be an expiring contract that would help the deal work out financially.
Collin Sexton has been out with injury for the majority of this season, but when he was healthy during the 2020-21 season, he had a fantastic season. Sexton averaged 24.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 4.4 APG last season, all while shooting 37.1% from beyond the arc. Sexton will be a restricted free agent at the end of the year, and the idea here is to acquire him to sign him to a long-term deal at the end of the season.
Isaac Okoro is a really good perimeter defender who has length and athleticism. He isn't a good jump shooter, but he can slash to the rim well and finish at the basket. If he ever develops a 3PT shot, he will be a solid option on the wing for years to come.
The draft compensation in this deal wouldn't be fantastic, but the Oklahoma City Thunder have shown that they can find talent later in the draft, and it has been quite obvious that the franchise does value draft picks as they have been stockpiling them.
Overall, this deal would help the Oklahoma City Thunder with the rebuild, while also sending Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to a far more competitive team. This is something that would benefit all parties involved.