Report: Cavs checked in on 3 Nets players as NBA trade deadline inches closer

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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly recently checked in on three Brooklyn Nets players ahead of the NBA’s Feb. 8 trade deadline.

Those players include guard Lonnie Walker IV and forwards Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto.

“Cleveland has recently checked in on Brooklyn’s trio of Dorian Finney-Smith, Royce O’Neale, and Lonnie Walker,” Scotto wrote.

The Cavs may be looking to upgrade their wing depth and scoring at the deadline, as the team had those as weaknesses in the playoffs last season. Right now, the Cavs have Isaac Okoro, Max Strus and Caris LeVert as their primary options on the wing.

Brooklyn currently holds the No. 11 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 20-30 record this season, and it could look to move off of veterans like O’Neale, Finney-Smith and Walker to stockpile draft assets for the future.

The Cavs have been linked to O’Neale for quite some time, and he may be the easiest player to acquire from Brooklyn since he’s in the final season of his contract.

Walker is also in the final season of his contract with the Nets, while Finney-Smith still is under contract through the 2024-25 season and has a player option for the 2025-26 campaign.

A strong defender and 3-point shooter, O’Neale is averaging 7.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game for the Nets this season while shooting 36.6 percent from beyond the arc. The veteran forward would give the Cavs another 3-and-D option.

As for Finney-Smith, he would likely cost more than O’Neale or Walker in the trade market since he has more time left on his deal. The former Dallas Mavericks forward is averaging 9.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game this season while shooting 38.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Finney-Smith and O’Neale are bigger than Walker, who has primarily played the shooting guard spot in his NBA career.

This season, Walker is averaging 12.0 points per game while shooting an impressive 47.6 percent from the field and 43.6 percent from 3 for the Nets.

There’s no doubt that all three players could bolster Cleveland’s rotation as the team prepares for a deep playoff run this season.

The Cavs are currently the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference entering Thursday’s trade deadline. They have a one-game cushion on the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks in the standings.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.