The Cavaliers expected to be competitive in 2022/23 after trading for Donovan Mitchell, who is having a career year in Cleveland. That has certainly been the case — the Cavs are currently 11th in offense, second in defense, and third in the league in net rating, per NBA.com.
However, the season has been a little bit of a roller coaster, though there have definitely been more highs than lows. For example, the Cavs have had four winning streaks of three-plus games (three, four, five and eight), but also two losing streaks of three-plus games (three and five).
After starting 22-11, Cleveland has gone 7-9 over the past 16 games to currently sit with a 29-20 record, the fifth seed in the East. Interestingly, while trading for Mitchell has raised the team’s ceiling, the Cavs were actually 30-19 at this point last year before a disappointing finish (largely due to injuries) — they went 14-19 down the stretch and lost both play-in games.
Injuries to Mitchell, Darius Garland, Kevin Love and Dean Wade haven’t helped in 2022/23. But the one area people pointed to as a weakness entering the season — the small forward position — has yet to be solidified. Caris LeVert, Lamar Stevens and Isaac Okoro have all gotten starting opportunities, but none have really taken hold of the job.
Regaining a top-four seed will be crucial for a possible playoff run — the Cavs are 20-5 at home, but only 9-15 on the road. Cleveland will almost certainly attempt to upgrade the roster in the next couple weeks, but it doesn’t have many assets to work with, as no first-round picks are available to trade after acquiring Mitchell.
We want to know what you think. Who should the Cavs be targeting ahead of the trade deadline? Do you think they’ll be able to acquire them? Head to the comments and let us know what you think.
19 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Cleveland Cavaliers”
Kyle Anderson, Taurean Prince, and Torrey Craig are all my picks, but it’s likely to be very hard to get any of them with what they have. I could see getting Craig or Anderson for Okoro, but that’s a steep price to pay. Other than the obvious Small Forward hole, they also need an actual 6th man. LeVert has been serviceable, but he has stuck out more than fit in.
As a Cavs fan, this team has been frustrating. Intensely so. But they’re on the right track, so I can roll with it.
Any free agent guys who could fit a need for you ?
Levert for hardaway and McGee. McGee slides in perfectly behind Allen and hardaway is better off ball. With Rubio, Michell and garland it makes more sense to get someone off ball who can catch fire. Not to say levert isn’t capable of getting hot.. he just doesn’t seem to mesh with this team
I’d be willing to toss osman and a 2nd for crowder as well
I like both ideas. Two off-ball 3-D guys in Hardaway and Crowder and McGee as a backup. I also like the idea of a Diwiddie and Levert reunion in Dallas. They played really well together in BK a few years back.
This team is 7/8 really strong so if they can make the right move to get 9/10/11 then anything can happen. They’re adding in Rubio who is a proven winner off that bench. Starting point guard for Spain to take down the US
At the beginning of the year, they were actually scary. Now they look more like a team that has a ceiling of the second round.
Still, this team is on the way up for sure.
What do you think caused this?
Just teams figuring out the Cavs’ game plan over time. They need something new.
I thought this would happen when they made the Mitchell trade.
The NBA usually runs around an 8 man rotation, sometimes one or two more depending on length of injuries. The Cavs had a fine Big 3 as well as some nice complementary players. What they needed to do was add a few more youngsters that could meld into what they had, and help to raise the teams ceiling.
Mitchell has been terrific. But what he’s added is offset by cutting into what the Big 3 had been doing – resulting in less production from them while weakening the rest of the rotation. Now the team is struck in a corner with no youngsters or draft choices to trade to build up the rotation.
In short the Cavs are a 4 man team and that will only get them so far in the playoffs.
I thought so too, they shouldn’t have made the trade. But hindsight is 20/20. I get it Spida is a game changer/cornerstone level player but I truly believed if JB played Lauri like the he does for the Finnish team/the way Will Hardy is using him in his system, they’d be a deeper and a top 3 or better team. They’d have their picks still and been able to use them to round out the roster. Although Lauri or Garland arent the closers come playoff time like Spida is, they sacrificed too much to set themselves up for a 2nd round contender. The Colin contract situation and Klutch being a pain with demands essentially forced Cleveland’s hand to make the trade. But I saw this coming, they essentially are relying on their top 4 and the return of Rubio and that will be their demise in the playoffs.
Ideally, they need a starting wing that’s a reliable 3 point shooter, who can also defend the spot. But it’s going to be hard for them to make a trade for that kind of upgrade on the wings, since most of their tradable players are wings, and they don’t have 1st round picks to add to package. A non-contender (seller) with a good 3&D wing to offer up will likely get better offers than CLE can make.
CLE might want to consider going more for the 3, than the D, as the “3 / no D” aisle is much cheaper to shop in. CLE might be the only team in the league that can do this rationally. Their interior defense is the best in the league. Their perimeter defense is poor already, but it hasn’t kept their overall defense from being very good. They have Okoro to come in off the bench, likely when a Love or Wade is in the game. Not ideal, but might be the best they can do. In all events, they need to add shooting on the wings.
Josh Richardson would be a good low cost target. With the additional Cap space the Spurs have, something like LeVert, Windler and an unprotected 2nd would likely get it done.
I think the issue is losing LeVert hurts the depth
It’s tough. There are no assets outside of 2nds and a 2024 swap.
My goal would be to target unwanted or underated guys. A few are starting to get playing time and recovered from injuries. Should have already made the play before the price goes up.
Jaesean Tate, Rockets have K Mart Jr and drafting Jabari Smith and Tari Eason.
Robert Covington, he doesn’t get playing time.
Kenrich Williams is the ideal target that’s may be gettable. He’s basically another Dean Wade and will make the same 6 million over the next 3 years.
Cavs have 2 max players and will agave another in Mobley soon. Getting someone on a good deal is the right play.
I’d love to get Josh Hart or DFS. But that’s not happening. If Levert and Love could turn into Josh Hart and Roco, basically cheaper 2 way versions I’d like that for the long run.
Oshae Brissett is a sleeper.
Basically Love and Levert make 46 million right now and those 2 slots need to make 32 million next year.
What combination of players can be converted into that in terms of next year salaries.
Because we have those two expiring salaries the Cavs could absorb a bad salary with a good young player attached.
If Dallas wants to trade Josh Green and Bertans for Levert I’d do it.
They’re youngish. There’s no need to panic just sit tight and give Okoro the P.T. he needs to get better. He’s Been playing better as of late anyway,
If they get a chance to unload LeVert for someone that’ll help this year then they should do so as long as they don’t overpay in that trade.
Love and LeVert are coming off the books this off-season which gives them some flexibility.
souring the bed leads to comical solutions in the morning or afternoon
I think Bogdanovic would fit them nicely.
I like Okoro a lot. Imo he will be a top 2way player. I think Pistons would definitely take Okoro. He’s still a few yrs away. Fits nice with young Pistons. And Bogdanovic is ready now. Gives you solid scoring off the bench. Or could even start. Plus DM knows his game.
Makes Cavs deep …..