Cleveland Pick Swap

There have been a lot of rumors about cleveland swapping their picks with Portland's. I don't think this makes a lot of sense from a Portland perspective as I believe either Drummond or Beal could fall to Portland at the 6 (Cleveland have their hearts set on Barnes). The 11th pick is a lot to give up to move up two spots when there is not a large drop off from 4 and 6.

I believe Portland's best option is to trade picks 6, 11, and Elliot Williams (or Mathews?) for #4 and Anderson Varejao (Shawne William's contract would have to be thrown in to match salaries with an agreement that the Blazer's will buy him out). Varejao does not fit Cleveland's window, and they are able to get 2 young lottery caliber players for Varejao. This would give them 3 first rounds picks (6,11, and 24) to make a good young core behind Kyrie Irving. Furthermore Harrison Barnes will still be available at the 6. All the reports I have heard say the Barnes would not have fallen past Cleveland at the 4. Portland receives Varejao and most likely Beal with the 4th pick. Varejao is a great rebounder/defender and his contract over the next four years is very appealing for a 6' 11" center: 7.7 mil, 8.4 mil, 9.1 mil, 9.8 mil (team option).

This gives Portland enough cap space to resign Batum (38 million over 4 years) , throw Goran Dragic 21 million over 3 years, and match offers to Hickson (although I would try to pry restricted free agent Jason Thompson from Sacremento). This would give Portland a lineup that immediately competes next year and, with growth from Aldridge, Batum and Beal, contend in years 2-4.

Dragic/ Smith

Beal/ Mathews

Batum/ Babbitt

Aldridge/ Hickson

Varejao/ Kurt Thomas

* In a best case scenario I would try to replace Elliot Williams with Wesley Mathews. This would give Portland another 5-6 million in cap space to save for next year's free agency. I do not want overspend on this year's free agent class. There are too many teams with cap space and not enough quality players.

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