- Chris Broussard, NBA analyst
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Already owners of the No. 1 pick in the draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to sweeten their position by securing the second pick as well, according to league sources.
In the trade being discussed, Cleveland would absorb Detroit's Richard Hamilton into the $14.6 million trade exception it received in last summer's LeBron James sign-and-trade with Miami, while also receiving the Pistons' No. 8 pick. The Cavaliers would then send that pick, along with their fourth pick, to Minnesota for the Timberwolves' second pick.
Cleveland would then buy Hamilton out of the $25 million remaining in the last two years on his contract, leaving the veteran shooting guard free to sign with another club as a free agent. Chicago would be one of the likeliest destinations.
Sources say, however, that Detroit will not consummate the trade as proposed without receiving players in return. The Pistons no longer view Hamilton's contract as an albatross with a lockout potentially knocking off one of the remaining two years on his deal.
Cleveland nearly traded for Hamilton at the February trade deadline with the intention of buying him out. In that scenario, Hamilton would have signed with Chicago after the buyout. The motivation for Detroit, which has been looking to move Hamilton for years, is mainly financial.
Whether the trade comes to fruition or not, the Cavaliers are all but certain to use the No. 1 pick on Irving, a favorite of the team's front office. The club's owner, Dan Gilbert, is a huge fan of Williams and sees him and Irving as building blocks for the future.
While one of the Cavaliers' greatest needs is at small forward, Williams, though viewed as a 'tweener, is seen by most league executives as a power forward. If the Cavs draft Williams and determine that he can't play small forward, they may deal power forward J.J. Hickson, who has good value on the trade market.
Chris Broussard covers the NBA for ESPN The Magazine.
Already owners of the No. 1 pick in the draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to sweeten their position by securing the second pick as well, according to league sources