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4 ideal Cleveland Cavaliers trade scenarios following Ricky Rubio injury

Vincent Frank

The surprising Cleveland Cavaliers were dealt a devastating blow to close out the 2021 calendar year. Veteran point guard Ricky Rubio is done for the season after suffering a torn ACL.

As a legitimate playoff contender, losing Rubio is going to hurt big time. Remember, fellow guard Collin Sexton is also lost for the season.

The expectation here is that general manager Koby Altman will make a move ahead of the February 10 NBA trade deadline. Below, we look at four ideal Cleveland Cavaliers trade scenarios.

Related: Updated NBA trade rumors

Cleveland Cavaliers trade for Dennis Schroder

dennis schroder trade to the cleveland cavaliers
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
  • Cavaliers get: Dennis Schroder
  • Celtics get: Collin Sexton

This could actually make sense for both teams. Boston is going to move Schroder ahead of the NBA trade deadline. The team doesn’t have the financial resources under the cap to re-sign him in free agency. It also looks like nothing more than a bottom-end playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. Taking a chance that Sexton (who is out for the season) picks up his option for the 2022-23 campaign makes sense. He could have a long-term future in Boston, too.

As for the Cavaliers, they are having a lot more success relying on Darius Garland to be their top scoring option than they had last season with Sexton filling that role. Getting a veteran point guard who is an upgrade over Rubio would set Cleveland up well to ascend the Eastern Conference standings moving forward.

Related: Find out where the Cleveland Cavaliers stand in our NBA power rankings

Cleveland Cavaliers land De’Aaron Fox in blockbuster trade

de'aaron fox trade cleveland cavaliers
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
  • Cavaliers get: De’Aaron Fox, Tristan Thompson
  • Kings get: Kevin Love, Isaac Okoro, two future first-round picks

For some reason, there’s been talk that Sacramento is ready to trade the 24-year-old Fox. It doesn’t make sense with the team looking to rebuild. Shouldn’t he be a part of said rebuild? Rather, general manager Monte McNair wants to build around fellow guards Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell. If that is indeed the case, Fox will have a solid trade market.

  • De’Aaron Fox stats (2021-22): 20.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 5.1 APG, 45% shooting, 25% three-point

Shooting struggles from the outside aside, Fox would be an absolutely tremendous fit next to Garland in the backcourt. He’s a more willing passer than Collin Sexton and has not even hit his prime yet. What a coup this would be for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

If the Kings are indeed hellbent on trading Fox, they must get future draft capital. Two first-round picks would be the starting-off point. Meanwhile, Okoro would come in to evenually replace Harrison Barnes at the wing. This would give Sacramento three potential building blocks with Haliburton, Mitchell and Okoro.

Related: Updated NBA Playoff and championship predictions

Cleveland Cavaliers trade for John Wall

cleveland cavaliers trade for john wall
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
  • Cavaliers get: John Wall, 2022 first-round pick, two second-round picks
  • Rockets get: Kevin Love, Collin Sexton

A trade involving two high-priced and injury-plagued veterans? We’ve seen this story in the past with the aforementioned Wall traded from the Washington Wizards to the Houston Rockets ahead of the 2020-21 season. Could we see it again? Well, it’s all about their salaries moving forward.

  • John Wall contract situation: Player option ($47.37 million) for 2022-23
  • Kevin Love contract situation: $28.9 million salary for 2022-23

As you can see, Cleveland would be taking on more of a financial commitment by adding Wall to the mix. Hence, why the team adds a first-round pick (via Miami) and two second-round selections to make it worth their while. In Wall, the Cavaliers would also be getting a veteran fixture who is ready to play. He averaged 20.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists for a bad Rockets team a season ago.

Houston’s part in this trade is rather simple. The team saves nearly $20 million in salary next season and would likely buy Love out. The cost being three draft picks is high. However, the Rockets must move on from this albatross of a contract if they want to continue with thei rebuild.

Related: Everything you need to know about the 2021-22 NBA season

Cleveland Cavaliers bring back Kyrie Irving

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Cleveland Cavaliers
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
  • Cavaliers get: Kyrie Irving, Cody Zeller, CJ Elleby
  • Nets get: C.J. McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic
  • Blazers get: Isaac Okoro, Cam Thomas, Joe Harris, Kevin Love, two first-round picks

Talk about a blockbuster trade to end all blockbuster trades. With Kyrie Irving set to return from his self-imposed absence due to a lack of a COVID-19 vacccine, there’s now rumors that the Nets might look to move him. It’s in this that Cleveland is actually the betting favorite to land their former superstar.

Talk about a match made in heaven. Irving teaming up with Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley and Lauri Markkanen would potentially make Cleveland a title favorite back east. That’s not hyperbole.

  • Kyrie Irving stats (2020-21): 26.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 6.0 APG, 51% shooting, 40% three-point

Now, why would Brooklyn help out a conference rival? Well, it’s rather simple. This trade would make the team a whole lot better — rounding out its starting five. McCollum would come in at the two and play next to James Harden with Kevin Durant manning the three. Nurkic would immediately start at the five — providing the Nets an upgrade inside.

As for Portland, everyone outside of Damian Lillard is available in talks ahead of the NBA trade deadline. There’s been a ton of rumors that the struggling team will look to move McCollum. This is potentially the best it can ask for in return. Two young players to build around and two future first-round picks to utilize as capital in order to add another star to go with Dame next summer.