A blockbuster trade rumor made the rounds Thursday night when Sporting News’ Mitch Lawrence cited league sources who said the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers and Utah Jazz were discussing a three-team deal that would send Kyrie Irving to Utah and both Paul George and George Hill (via a sign-and-trade) to the defending Eastern Conference champions.
However, that report was quickly refuted by the Salt Lake Tribune‘s Tony Jones, who heard from sources who said there was “no traction” to rumors Irving could be bound for the Jazz.
Furthermore, B/R’s Eric Pincus noted Hill logistically can’t be part of a sign-and-trade with the Cavaliers since it would trigger a hard cap, which they aren’t allowed to exceed.
To pull off such a maneuver, the Cavaliers would first have to shed enough salary to move below the tax apron, per Pincus.
Lawrence also reported the Pacers are seeking “top picks,” but neither the Cavaliers nor the Jazz are in a position to satisfy that demand.
Cleveland owes its 2019 first-round pick (protected Nos. 1-10) to the Atlanta Hawks, which means trading a 2018 pick is out of the question since that would be a violation of the Stepien Rule.
But even if the Cavaliers could deal next year’s first-round pick, it wouldn’t have much value to the Jazz since it is likely to fall toward the back of the draft order.
The Jazz own all of their future first-round picks, plus an additional 2018 first-round selection from the Oklahoma City Thunder that is lottery-protected for the next three years. Should the pick fail to convey in that span, it will turn into a pair of second-round selections.
In other words, financial and logistical concerns sound like they would be too much for the parties involved to overcome even if they wanted to make the trade.
Draft pick information courtesy of RealGM.com.
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