While most of the hype surrounding Cleveland tonight revolves around the acquisition of sharpshooter Kyle Korver, a second, equally important trade occurred to help facilitate Cleveland’s trades. According to NBA Insider for ESPN, Brian Windhorst, Cleveland has traded their 2017 first round pick to Portland, in exchange for the return of their top-10 protected 2018 First round pick.
Cleveland previously shipped off their 2018 first round pick to Portland during the deal that sent Channing Frye to Cleveland early last year. Additionally that trade created the $9.8 trade exception that Cleveland has yet to use.
In a vacuum, this trade seems nonsensical, with Cleveland sending a pick from what is being considered one of the deepest and most talented drafts since 2003. However, Cleveland through this trade has managed to preserve their assets, and lowered the cost of trading for Kyle Korver in the process. Cleveland, not holding the rights to their 2018 First Round pick are not allowed to trade their 2019 First Round pick according to league rules. By acquiring their 2018 pick, they now can send their 2019 First Round pick rather than their 2020 which Atlanta wouldn’t have accepted alone, or their 2017 First Round pick. In this way, Cleveland keeps their ability to draft in the next two years, and aquire Korver
As of the time of this article there is no word about if this pick has any protection, though likely Cleveland would attempt to apply at least top-10, if not lottery protection just in case of the worst case scenario.
Stick with Cavs Nation for more trade updates throughout the evening.