The NBA trade deadline is rapidly approaching. With just over a week to go, here’s some things to know about the Cleveland Cavaliers.
You know who Cleveland’s off limits players are: Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley, Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen. None of those four are going anywhere.
While not untouchable, it would be surprising if Ricky Rubio, Isaac Okoro or Kevin Love were dealt. Dean Wade, meanwhile, is trade ineligible after signing an extension with the Cavs just before the season started.
Possible trade chips
The big name to watch here is Caris LeVert. He’s on an expiring contract worth around $18 million and has a primary skill (creation) the Cavs have a lot of. It’s not to say that he’s a lock to be dealt, but he’s the likeliest one to go out. He’s at the right salary number to match with someone the Cavs would want from another team.
Other names and salaries to watch: Cedi Osman at $7.4 million (and a non-guaranteed $6.7 million next year, making functionally an expiring) and Dylan Windler at $4 million. Combing Osman and Windler gets the Cavs into the $11 million range if they prefer to keep LeVert and look for a player at a lower salary number.
Love is the wild card. He’s in the last year of his deal and making $28.9 million. Seems unlikely he’s moved, but there’s some logic in taking his salary and trying to get two players back in return to bolster depth. It’s something the team at least has to have a meeting about, as uncomfortable is it would be to deal Love.
Either at the trade deadline or in the future, the Cavs need to find an upgrade at the wing. They’ve survived this year with Okoro, LeVert, Wade, Osman and Lamar Stevens, but should absolutely be in the market for an upgrade — especially if that player can shoot three-pointers well and/or can defend bigger wings.
Do the Cavs need to make a trade now? Probably not. They are well positioned in the Eastern Conference this year. They likely don’t have the trade chips needed to get a Bojan Bogdanovic from Detroit or someone at that level who can really move the needle for them.
Names to watch that might come via what the Cavs can offer (LeVert or Osman/Windler plus multiple second-round picks): San Antonio’s Doug McDermott, San Antonio’s Josh Richardson, Utah’s Malik Beasley.
Per DraftKings, here are some notable odds about the Cavs ahead of the deadline:
- Over 49.5 wins (-115) vs. Under 49.5 wins (-105)
- To make the playoffs: yes at -10,000
- To win the Eastern Conference: +1100, the fifth-best odds in the Eastern Conference
- To win the Central Division: +265. The Bucks are favorites at -425
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