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NBA Trade Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly have ‘strong’ interest in Portland Trail Blazers wing Josh Hart

Hart, 27, would be an upgrade for Cleveland on the wing.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Add Josh Hart to the list of possible Cleveland Cavaliers trade targets.

Per NBA insider Marc Stein, the Cavs are one of the teams that have shown ‘strong’ interest in Hart ahead of next week’s deadline. Hart, as Stein writes, seems to be one of the more likely players to be dealt by the deadline. The Miami Heat are another team with reported interest.

From Stein’s newsletter ($):

The Cavaliers are among the teams expressing strong trade interest in Portland’s Josh Hart, league sources say. Hart has joined the likes of Denver’s Bones Hyland, New York’s Cam Reddish, various veterans in Utah and the LA Clippers’ John Wall on the Most Likely To Be Traded list at this deadline.

Hart, 27, is an interesting trade target for a few reasons. For starters, he has a unique contract. He was a player option for next season worth $12.9 million that is non-guaranteed, so he’s functionally on an expiring contract. If a team is trading for him, the plan would have to be to re-sign him barring injury or the fit proving to be bad.

On court, Hart feels like a very Cavs-y wing. He’s a solid, strong defender who can defend multiple spots on the wing. On offense, he’s not the knockdown shooter Cleveland arguably needs — he’s at 31.1% on three-pointers this year and 34.4% for his career and is sometimes unwilling to shoot open threes — but he’s capable enough.

The framework of this trade is worth considering. Both teams are just under the luxury tax line and are unlikely to make any trades that put them over. Something like Cedi Osman and Dylan Windler (plus two second round picks) would work. Caris LeVert could go to Portland with Hart and Keon Johnson coming back too. Maybe there might need to be a three-team construction where LeVert goes to a third team, the Trail Blazers get a player they’d like more and the Cavs get Hart.