Cavs look to upgrade by shopping Brendan Haywood, draft pick

ByBrian Windhorst ESPN logo
Friday, June 19, 2015

Days after the end of the Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers are working on upgrading their roster by shopping the potentially valuable contract of Brendan Haywood, and -- in some cases -- offering it along with the 24th overall pick in Thursday's draft, sources told

Haywood's $10.5 million contract is not guaranteed for next season if he's waived by Aug. 2. This could be attractive to a team looking to either offload salary now or use it as part of another deal that could be executed during free agency in July.

The Cavs have tested the market in swapping Haywood either for a player or a future draft pick, sources said. On their wish list is a facilitating guard they can bring in to either back up or play alongside Kyrie Irving. The Cavs have a number of free agents, including backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova and starting shooting guard Iman Shumpert.

General manager David Griffin said Thursday he'd be looking to add more facilitators this summer, especially after the Golden State Warriors hurt the Cavs in the Finals with their various playmakers.

"The one thing that we did see in Golden State, and it was something that was very difficult for us to deal with, is they have an incredibly versatile team of multiple facilitating playmakers," Griffin said. "That's something we're going to continue to work upon. The more playmaking facilitators you have that know how to play the game, the better off you are, and I think you saw the value of that in the team that ultimately did win."

Any trade involving the Cavs' first-round pick could not be executed until after the draft. They are precluded from trading their pick before making the selection because they already traded their 2016 first-round pick in the deal to acquire Kevin Love last summer. That pick now belongs to Philadelphia.

Another asset the Cavs could use in a deal this summer are the rights to Russian center Sasha Kaun. The 30-year-old Kaun, who played at Kansas, was drafted in the second round in 2008. He played the last seven seasons for CSKA Moscow but is now a free agent and wants to come to the NBA. He averaged 9.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in 30 Euroleague games this season and projects as a backup in the NBA.

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