The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking for some upgrades but Zach LaVine may be too rich.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking for potential upgrades this offseason, and the idea has been mostly at the wing positions. This could be a shooting guard or a small forward and most people feel a guy next to Darius Garland makes more sense. That said, there are some, though not a large number, who believe that a replacement for Lauri Markkanen is in order. That said, whatever people may lean towards, everyone seems to agree that a replacement is needed in the starting lineup. Enter Zach LaVine.
LaVine is currently the second-leading scorer for the Chicago Bulls but appears to be done with Chicago. He wants to venture into the free agency pool, and he’ll demand a pretty penny. A penny that the Cav can’t afford.
Yet, that doesn’t mean LaVine can’t end up in Cleveland, it’ll just have to be via sign-and-trade. NBA Network Analysis’ Kenneth Teape brought up the concept and suggested a trade that could involve Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman, Isaac Okoro, and a first-round draft pick.
The sign-and-trade for Zach LaVine is too expensive for the Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs trading away that much for LaVine, a player who has never been a playoff-top guy is a bit much. Financially it makes sense, as he’ll probably demand as much as he possibly could, so you’re looking at $30+ million per year.
Yet, you’re giving up a player in Sexton who may be every bit as good as LaVine. They have similar stats throughout the first four years, but Sexton hit 20 points per game in just his second season, while it took LaVine until his fifth year.
Sexton has a much higher upside, as he showed great progress until he got hurt during the 2021-2022 season. The Cavs may have the better player in a year or two with Sexton, and risking that for LaVine, who has hit his ceiling, is way too risky.
Not just that, but you’re giving up a first-round pick, and two key roleplayers.
While LaVine would be a welcomed edition via a standard free agency acquisition, giving up that much to get him isn’t a great play and the Cavs should stay out of the sunk-cost market for LaVine.