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January 29, 2017

Report: The Cavaliers were looking to trade for T.J. McConnell

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With the Cleveland Cavaliers struggling a bit as of late, LeBron James has expressed frustration about the team’s personnel. Specifically, James believes the defending champs could use another ball-handler.

According to a report by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Cavs recently attempted to acquire Sixers point guard T.J. McConnell in a trade:

The Cleveland Cavaliers approached the Sixers about acquiring McConnell in a trade, according to several sources. The Sixers declined the offer.

The Cavs wanted to put together a deal that would have brought Jordan McRae back to Philly. The Sixers acquired McRae in the second round of the 2014 draft. The Sixers sent him Australia to play for Melbourne United during the 2014-15 season. McRae was waived by the Sixers on Oct. 26, 2015.

A few weeks ago, James specifically mentioned point guard as an area that he would like the Cavs to improve. From ESPN:

"We still got a couple more things we need to do," James said Friday morning. "We got to get a point guard."

It was a continuation of the point guard drum James was beating after the Cavs lost to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.

"Yeah, it's my last time saying it," James said. "We need a point guard."

The Cavs recently acquired sharpshooter Kyle Korver via trade, but they let Matthew Dellavedova walk in free agency this past offseason without finding much of a replacement. Considering the type of influence that a player of James’ caliber has, it’s not surprising that point guards are popping up in trade rumors concerning the Cavs.

The Sixers would have been right to turn down a trade package centered around Jordan McRae. Originally an undrafted free agent, McConnell has been a major part of their recent winning ways and he’s on a team-friendly contract for two more seasons.

Who else would’ve imagined T.J. McConnell would be popping up in trade rumors at the beginning of this season, much less one involving the defending NBA champions?

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann