The Cleveland Cavaliers are working on a move that would net them Utah Jazz guard Malik Beasley in a three-team deal.
The report of the deal comes via veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein, who laid out that the move would send Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins to Utah and Beasley to Cleveland. The compensation from the Cavs is a bit of an unknown but Stein mentions Caris LeVert as the team’s best trade chip.
“As part of the Cavaliers’ ongoing search for wing upgrades, league sources say, they have weighed pursuing a three-way trade scenario that would land Atlanta’s John Collins with the Jazz and bring Utah’s Malik Beasley to Cleveland,” he wrote. “The Jazz have well-chronicled interest in Collins but, to this point, have given the Hawks pause by seeking additional draft compensation for taking on Collins, who still has three seasons left on his five-year, $125 million contract after this one.”
Beasley has averaged 13.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 46 games this season with the Jazz, who were off to a roaring start to the year but have since fallen to the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference at 22-24. But with the standings in constant flux in the West, a move for Collins could help them wrangle a postseason berth.
Collins is averaging 13.1 points and 7.9 rebounds while shooting 49.7% from the field. All those numbers are below his career averages.
The Hawks have had their struggles this season and would get LeVert and his expiring contract in the move, helping them open up some cap space for the future.
Beasley Would Add Much-Needed Shooting for Cavs
The Cavaliers have firmly established themselves as contenders with the arrival of Donovan Mitchell and the team has made no secret that they’d like to upgrade the roster with a reliable two-way wing.
Beasley is a capable defender but his shooting is something the Cavaliers would covet. He’s hitting 35.8% of his shots from beyond the arc but also takes a very high volume of his shots from deep. Beasley ranks seventh in the 8.63 3-point shots per game.
The Cavs are off to a 27-17 start to the season as of January 16 and have hung their hat on their defense. Mitchell has certainly added some juice to their offensive attack but another reliable shooter from deep could add an element to their offensive arsenal. Cleveland ranks 26th in the league in points per game at 111.5 and is 13th in the NBA in team 3-point shooting at 36.0%.
LeVert is Cavs Best Trade Chip in Effort to Improve
The Cavs have limited trade assets to improve the roster after giving up a haul for Mitchell in the offseason and grabbing LeVert last February. While LeVert was a solid addition last offseason, his contributions have been less helpful with the addition of Mitchell.
LeVert is making $18.7 million this season and will be a free agent at the end of the season. Cavs beat writer Chris Fedor recently disclosed on his Wine and Gold Podcast that LeVert is viewed around the league as the most valuable chip Cleveland has in a potential trade.
“I’ve talked to a few different people around the NBA, and they believe that Caris LeVert is the best asset that the Cavs have in terms of a trade because he can help teams right now,” Fedor said. “And he can also help their salary because he’s an expiring contract. And beyond that, his salary number matches a lot of guys that are perceived to be available around the NBA.”
The NBA trade deadline is February 9.