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Report: Why did Cavaliers sign Scotty Hopson? Trade bait.

Apr 1, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT


Yesterday we told you that the Cavaliers signed Scotty Hopson, a 6’7” two guard who wasn’t drafted out of Tennessee and was last seen playing in Turkey. He’s the kind of player who gets a tryout with a team on a 10-day contract this time of year, and with Kyrie Irving still out (at least another day) another guard on the roster can’t hurt. The Cavaliers like Hopson.

Except Hopson didn’t get a 10-day deal, he got a two-year, $3.8 million contract, reports Brian Windhorst at ESPN. That’s far more than the minimum most of these kinds of deals are offered at.


It’s not about Hopson, it’s about the June DBA draft and the Cavaliers wanting to have trade chips, Windhorst explains.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to put themselves in position to make a major trade around June’s NBA draft, sources told…

The second year of Hopson’s deal, worth $1.45 million, is nonguaranteed. The Cavs now have a stockpile of nonguaranteed or partially guaranteed contracts that could be attractive in trades around June’s draft.

Combined with the contracts of Alonzo Gee, Matthew Dellavedova and Anderson Varejao, the Cavs have a trove of options to use as trade bait for a team that wants to clear salary-cap space. In addition to their all their own draft picks, the Cavs also own future first-rounders from the Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat.

That’s a lot of assets the Cavaliers can try to move to bring in a star player to go next to Kyrie Irving.

Problem is, it takes two to do the trade tango. They need to find another team ready and willing to move an elite player for some cap relief, picks and whatever else the Cavs would throw in (any player not named Kyrie is available). Those guys do come up as available, although Cleveland likely doesn’t want a guy with an expiring deal.

Under former GM Chris Grant the Cavs tried to draft the star to go next to Irving, but they swung and missed a lot. Now they want to go get someone established. Ideally they do it on draft day.

Then come July 1, when they show Irving the max contract extension they will offer him, they can say “and you will be playing next to…”

At least that seems to be the hope.

  1. ProBasketballPundit - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    I’m available.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:19 PM

      Slut. Just kidding.

  2. slowclyde86 - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    The Cavs will be bad for a very long time. Makes me sad.

  3. bougin89 - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    I would say this is another Chris Grant type contract move(like Bynum) but…

  4. moseskkim - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Kyries body is brittle and he’s a bad leader so far. They need some rock solid veteran presence and a coach whom they all respect. Kyries game is sick but he has a LOT to prove regarding his body and leadership

    • johnheisman - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      If the Cavaliers are looking for experience, I hear that Uncle Drew is available.

    • sportsfan18 - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      Rock solid veterans usually have a choice as to where they go…

      And the city of Cleveland doesn’t rank high on their list on NBA cities…

      So the Cavs may very well need a rock solid veteran but good luck getting one…

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:21 PM

        If they like rock they are going to consider Cleveland, home of the Rock& Roll Hall of fame. Not everyone lets the weather command.

  5. ljl2 - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:22 PM


  6. djshnooks - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    And who will trade for a bunch if scrubs with absolutely zero talent…and nowhere near enough to get a “start quality” player.

    Keep dreaming, Cleveland…the tire fire factory of sadness on Lake Erie rolls on.

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