Cavaliers missed out on win-win Goran Dragic trade with Raptors

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12: Goran Dragic #1 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12: Goran Dragic #1 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are in the market for a buyer that can help them take Goran Dragic off of their hands. With the veteran scorer looking for a team that is willing to both give him playing time and compete for a championship, the Cleveland Cavaliers could’ve been perfect trade partners.

The Cavaliers had the perfect backup point guard for young standout Darius Garland in Ricky Rubio. Unfortunately, a season-ending ACL injury forced Cleveland to look to the trade market for a replacement. They settled on Lakers vet Rajon Rondo.

The Cavaliers acquired Rondo in exchange for Denzel Valentine. The Lakers are expected to waive Valentine in order to sign Stanley Johnson to a long-term contract, While the Cavs got the veteran that they wanted, they may have missed out on a better option elsewhere.

Dragic is still capable of being an effective scorer in the NBA, no matter what a poor five-game stint in Toronto might say. The Cavs could’ve picked up the Slovenian veteran to serve as a Garland fill-in and Rubio replacement.

This Toronto Raptors Goran Dragic trade would be perfect for Cleveland.

This trade would’ve helped Cleveland get a point guard with a much higher offensive ceiling than Rondo. Dragic may not have started off his Raptors career in elite fashion, but he should still be a better scorer than anyone Cleveland has to offer in the backcourt given his pedigree.

Why would the Raptors make this trade right after Rubio’s injury? Well, Toronto could get further away from the luxury tax by taking on the impending free agent, and doing this deal allows them to both add draft capital and free up space for a potential 15th NBA contract to be given out.

Toronto could look to add a player like DJ Wilson, who has impressed for Toronto while on a 10-day contract. Perhaps they look to add two players in a Goran Dragic trade? This trade would’ve beefed up Cleveland’s bench unit while getting Toronto some draft capital. This would’ve helped both teams more than the Lakers swap.

The Raptors need to find a way to get rid of Dragic, and the Rubio swap would’ve made them much more flexible from a financial point of view. If they want to bring Rubio in as a free agent next year, they could still try to pull that off.

Unless Rondo turns into an elite shooter, Cleveland may regret pursuing that move.

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