Cavaliers Eyeing Trade for Nets Swingman After Kevin Durant Blockbuster

Royce O'Neale

Getty Former Nets star Kevin Durant and Royce O'Neale.

DylanThe Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to pounce as the Brooklyn Nets continue to shake up their roster after a series of blockbuster moves.

The Nets have parted ways with superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant over the last week, stockpiling players and picks. It’s a unique situation for the 32-22 squad — just 1.5 games back of the Cavs — but there are at least a few players they’ll likely look to move before the deadline.

One player the Cavs are interested in is veteran swingman Royce O’Neale, per Chris Fedor of

“O’Neale is viewed as an ideal fit — the kind of help-now, playoff-tested piece that could change the team’s trade stance,” Fedor reported early on February 9. “For a variety of reasons, he is a more appealing option than the other players the Cavs have been linked to over the last few weeks.”

O’Neale is averaging 9.4 points on 39.9% from the field and 40.3% from 3-point range, which would make him a solid addition for the Cavaliers. He’s also a former teammate of Cavs star Donovan Mitchell, which could add extra incentive to getting a deal done. Fedor dubbed the two as close friends.

Cavs Have Been Looking for Upgrade at Wing

Cleveland has been in search of an upgrade at wing but had come to terms that a move that they feel is a clear upgrade might not manifest before the deadline.

“A few days ago, there was a growing sense that Cleveland’s decision-makers weren’t excited about the realistic trade options and would be fine standing pat — if a deal didn’t materialize,” Fedor reported.

But the shifting landscape — especially in regard to the Nets — might have changed their mindset. Brooklyn traded for O’Neale this offseason, giving up a first-round pick to land him. He’s averaging 34.2 minutes per game but the Nets will quickly have to evaluate how he fits with all their new pieces, which include Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith.

Some of the options the Cavaliers were previously eyeing were Josh Hart, Cam Reddish and Malik Beasley. All are now with new teams, so if the Cavs do want to make a move, they’ll have to change course with a guy like O’Neale.

Cavs Could Also Be Interested in Joe Harris

O’Neale is not be the only target from the Nets the Cavaliers are looking at. Joe Harris is another name the Cavs could be looking at, valuing him for his shooting ability, per Fedor.

“Harris, a player who has also been on the Cavs’ radar, began his career in Cleveland as the No. 33 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft,” Fedor said. “He has played seven years in Brooklyn and has become one of the league’s best 3-point shooters.”

Harris is averaging 8.3 points this season on 45.0% shooting from the field and 40.3% from beyond the arc. The problem with Harris would be his hefty salary, which is $18.6 million this season and $19.8 next season. O’Neale comes in at a much more affordable $9.2 million, with only part of his deal guaranteed for next season.

The most likely trade pieces for the Cavs are Caris LeVert, Cedi Osman and Dylan Windler.

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