The Cleveland Cavaliers squeezed the Celtics of assets when they shipped Kyrie Irving to Boston. Now it seems one of the biggest assets acquired in the trade, Brooklyn's 2018 first-round pick, could be on the trading block.
According to Joe Vardon of cleveland.com, the Cavs have already begun taking calls about the pick, which could be in the top five depending upon Brooklyn's season.
As owners of Brooklyn's No. 1 pick, which could be a top-five pick in next year's draft, Cleveland has fielded numerous calls already about a potential trade. It could be a part of a major trade package for the Cavs later this year, or, conceivably, the Cavs could make that pick next June.
So why in the world would Cleveland -- a team that just shipped out its second best player -- trade away the most valuable draft asset it owns? Simple: Cleveland could flip that future asset into a current one, as in a player who could help the team win now rather than later.
This is a very smart strategy by new GM Koby Altman, who is well aware that the upcoming season could be LeBron James' last in Cleveland. James will hit the free agent market in 2018, so for Cleveland to show its willingness to take an outside-the-box approach to improving the roster could make a good impression.
Although some might say Cleveland would be potentially wasting an asset by trading away a potential top-five pick, it's important to remember just how much it acquired in the Irving trade. In addition to the Brooklyn pick, Cleveland also acquired Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, Isaiah Thomas and a 2020 second round pick.