The Cleveland Cavaliers “have interest” in Brooklyn Nets forward Royce O’Neale before the NBA trade deadline, Cleveland.com Cavs reporter Chris Fedor wrote in a Thursday article.
“Sources tell cleveland.com the Cavs have interest in swingman Royce O’Neale as they continue to scour the trade market for a potential wing upgrade before the 3 p.m. deadline,” Fedor wrote. “Preferably one who can shoot, either to start or strengthen one of the league’s least productive benches.”
The Cavaliers bench is averaging 29 points per game, putting them at 27th in the league and 0.2 points behind the New York Knicks.
Royce O’Neale is “viewed as an ideal fit,” Fedor continued, and a “kind of help-now, playoff-tested piece that could change the team’s trade stance.” There was a “growing sense” the Cavs decision makers “weren’t excited about the realistic trade options” and would be fine with standing pat at the NBA trade deadline should a deal not materialize.
The 29-year-old forward is averaging 9.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and four assists per game in 51 games played with the Nets this season. He is hitting 39.9% of his field goal attempts and is shooting 40.3% from the 3-point line. O’Neale played in one game against the Cavaliers this year, putting up 10 points, three rebounds and four assists in an eight-point Brooklyn win at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Dec. 26.
Quenton Albertie ·
Royce O’Neale shared time with Cavs guard Donovan Mitchell when he first signed with the Utah Jazz in July 2017. While Mitchell went to the Cavs during a blockbuster trade in September, O’Neale was dealt to the Nets for a 2023 first-round pick in late June. The first-round pick was the least favorable of a swap between the Nets and Houston Rockets and Philadelphia’s first-round pick that was previously acquired by Brooklyn, according to the NBA.
The Nets made a blockbuster move of their own on Thursday morning when they shipped forwards Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren to the Phoenix Suns for forwards Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and Jae Crowder, as well as four unprotected first-round picks and a 2028 pick swap.