The story of LeBron James being angry with his team for the recent slump continues. This time, Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin is looking to the Utah Jazz, specifically point guard Shelvin Mack.
Cavs are in preliminary trade talks with the Utah Jazz for their point guard Shelvin Mack. pic.twitter.com/AYVa2CPfxE
— Cleveland SportsTalk (@CLEsportsTalk) January 28, 2017
Mack is currently the third string point guard for the Jazz, behind both George Hill and Dante Exum. The fifth-year player has modest career numbers, averaging 6 points and 3 assists per game. Shelvin has had a good year thus far, averaging nearly 8 points with limited playing time. At best though, he is a solid backup point guard.
Shelvin Mack would be a great fit with the Cavs at the backup point guard position. Since he plays limited time for the Jazz, it would take just a small number of assets to get him. In fact, the Cavs have a 4.4-million-dollar trade exception because of the Anderson Varejao trade before last season’s deadline. They could absorb Shelvin Mack’s 2.4-million-dollar contract right into that, making this trade virtually free for them, and giving the Jazz more incentive to pull the trigger.
Now about the point guard conundrum in Cleveland. LeBron James has repeatedly expressed his anger that point guard Kyrie Irving has no reliable backup. Behind him in the rotation is 5’9 Kay Felder, who is not only a huge liability on the defensive side of the ball, but is also not a great scoring or passing guard.
The Cavs still own the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but if they continue playing how they have been, they won’t be one of the top 3 seeds by the time the season is over. They have won just 4 out of the last 10 games that they have played, and before just barely beating the bottom feeding Brooklyn Nets, they had a three game losing streak. Not very impressive.
Cavs on a losing streak was our best chance at the #1 seed, but instead we go on a 5 game losing streak of our own.
— Raptors Nation (@RaptorsNationTO) January 26, 2017
A trade like this would be great for both teams. Shelvin Mack has not established himself within the rotation of the Jazz, playing just spot minutes here and there recently. He would be the instant backup to Kyrie, and would practically cost the Cavs nothing.
The Jazz would most likely receive a pick or two in return. The trade wouldn’t be great for them, but it wouldn’t be bad, as they would be dumping a contract of a player that has rarely played as of late.
The Cavaliers need to pull the trigger on this trade. Upper management would rather not upset LeBron, the face of the franchise and of the NBA in general.