The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to shake up their roster if they don’t find a way to overcome a 0-3 series deficit against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. With LeBron James and Kyrie Irving obviously the only untouchables from any trade talks this summer, the Cavs will likely explore trade options for underperforming players Tristan Thompson, J.R Smith and even Kevin Love.

Let the trading game start

The Cavaliers are a luxury tax-paying team and it’s very unlikely they can get a game-changing player out of their mid-level, bi-annual or veteran minimum exceptions. Most of the actions will be taking place in the trade market, and Cavs general manager David Griffin is once again tasked with pulling off a blockbuster trade.

With so many really good wingmen (Jimmy Butler, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony) expected to be available on the trading block this summer, it’s now all up to the Cavs GM and owner Dan Gilbert on how to retool their roster and keep James – who can opt out next summer - happy enough to stay in Cleveland for the remainder of his career.

Tristan Thompson

It has been a disappointing NBA Finals for Thompson, who was held to eight points through the first three games of the series. Moreover, the Cavaliers big man couldn’t even make a big impact in the rebounding department like he used to do against the Warriors last year. Thompson is averaging just under four rebounds per game in the series, which is far lower than Steph Curry’s 9.6 rebounds per game.

Finding a taker for Thompson will be tough, especially after these lackluster performances. His massive contract of $16 million to $17 million per year also made things harder for the Cavaliers front-office to trade him. Perhaps the Cavs can attach a draft pick to make him an attractive trade target but that’s not a guarantee.

J.R Smith

Coming off a 4-year, $57 million deal last summer, Smith has been a disappointment both in the regular-season and in the playoffs. In the NBA Finals, Smith was virtually non-existent in the first two games before scoring 16 points on 5-for-10 shooting from the 3-point line in Game 3. Like Thompson’s case, the Cavaliers will have to be a bit more creative in trying to convert Smith’s into a high-impact player because of his swelled up contract (eligible for $13 million next season).

Trading Smith back to New York is certainly an option, especially if the Knicks dangle Carmelo Anthony in front of the Cavaliers.

Kevin Love

Love has been spectacular in his third season with the Cavaliers. In the playoffs, the former UCLA Bruins standout has been a beast on both ends of the floor and certainly played a big part in the Cavs 12-1 record leading up to the NBA Finals. He continued his steady production in the NBA Finals series, either racking up 21 rebounds in Game 1 or scoring 27 points in 30 minutes in Game 2. Unfortunately, the Warriors front-court of Draymond Green and Kevin Durant are simply to versatile for him to guard, and that’s the reason why Chris Haynes of ESPN believes Love will be dealt this summer.

“I think in years past – say last year’s for say – if the Warriors close out that series and won the Finals four-games-to-one, there’s no doubt in my mind Kevin Love would not have been back,” Haynes said in an interview on “the Jim Rome show.” “There’s no doubt in my mind and so I think that’s the same case.”

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