With Donovan Mitchell on the team, the Cleveland Cavaliers are just one move away from being the Eastern Conference favorites
The Cleveland Cavaliers should seriously consider making another trade. The team gave up three players in Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, and Collin Sexton to get Donovan Mitchell. The move has made them a serious contender in the Eastern Conference, and the team still has depth to their credit.
If we’re being honest, there are six names the Cavs can’t afford to trade; Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, Kevin Love, and Ricky Rubio. Everyone else is and should be on the trading block. Especially if it means improving the team even further.
Now, to be clear, I’m not suggesting that the Cavs just trade people for anyone. The right player has to be on the radar for this to make sense. While minor, less noteworthy players like Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard would work in a pinch, they wouldn’t require the level of assets we’re talking about here.
We’re talking about the Andrew Wiggins of the world.
Who do the Cleveland Cavaliers have as assets in another major trade
Without talking about the contracts, the names that make the most sense as far as upgrading at the small forward position would include Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Lamar Stevens, and Dylan Windler.
After the trade, I think Cedi Osman is safe. The Cavs lost a lot of three-point shooting with Agbaji and Markkanen, so Osman needs to remain on the team. They also lost a solid of solid defense with Markkanen as well, so Dean Wade is now a valuable asset that can’t just be given up.
Without the draft picks, Luke Travers and Isaiah Mobley have to be kept as prospects just on the off chance they can actually develop into NBA players. They can’t afford to rid themselves of even more rookies at this point.
Raul Neto and Robin Lopez just signed deals and can’t be traded anytime soon, not that they carry much value. RJ Nembhard also doesn’t have a lot of inherent value either. So that’s why the most logical names are LeVert, Okoro, Stevens, and Windler.
LeVert and Okoro would be the backbone of any trade, while Stevens and Windler offer youth and depth. Now, you wouldn’t want to trade all four guys, but you’d certainly want to use all four if necessary, especially if it lands you a Wiggins-type player.
Although, the team may be better off waiting on a trade until the pretenders fall off. If a team like Miami struggles, then a guy like Jimmy Butler becomes a player the team should eye. He’s a bit older but in the last year of his contract. He’d be perfect as a rental and since guys like LeVert aren’t under a contract for next year, it makes sense to pursue a player like Butler.
That only happens though if the Heat, or some other NBA “contender” ends up falling apart mid-season.
So holding out for making that second big trade makes sense. Yet, regardless of when, the team needs to consider making that last splash move to really put them over the top, and the sooner they do it, the better.