The Cleveland Cavaliers would surely love to upgrade their roster - and specifically their 29th-ranked defense - before the trade deadline, but they're loathe to part with their most tantalizing asset - the 2018 Brooklyn Nets first-round draft pick they received in last summer's Kyrie Irving trade.
To wit, the Cavs have had internal discussions about trading for Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (a player who would certainly help at the defensive end), but don't consider him enough of a difference-maker to warrant trading the Nets' first-rounder, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
According to Wojnarowski, Cleveland's hesitance stems from its uncertainty about whether LeBron James will re-sign this summer or depart in free agency. Jordan, like James, can opt out of his contract at season's end.
Brooklyn's first-rounder would be the Cavs' most viable means of regrouping in the wake of a potential LeBron departure, and if they're going to surrender that opportunity in order to go all-in this season, the return would need to give them a better shot at dethroning the Golden State Warriors.
"They (the Cavs) will only use that (draft pick), I'm told, if they think it's a player that can put them over the top," Wojnarowski said.
"They're holding that Brooklyn pick for a player that may not even become available. They're holding that for a star."