Cavaliers Trade Predictions Ahead of Thursday’s Deadline – Bleacher Report

February 9, 2022

The Cleveland Cavaliers aren't taking their newfound success for granted.
Armed with a winning percentage that doubles last season's and no shortage of assets, the Cavaliers took to the NBA trade market and brokered one of the first significant swaps of trade season.
Cleveland addressed a wing shortage in a major way, prying Caris LeVert and a 2022 second-round pick from the Indiana Pacers for Ricky Rubio, a lottery-protected first and two second-rounders.
While that could be the biggest move the Cavaliers make ahead of Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, it isn't necessarily the last deal they will get done.

If the Cavaliers want to pursue another impact move, they have the resources to do it.
It will just cost them Collin Sexton, the eighth overall pick in 2018 whose career scoring average sits at an even 20 points per night.
That's an option worth exploring since Sexton is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a torn meniscus and has restricted free agency awaiting him this summer. Despite the gaudy scoring numbers, Sexton's future seems far from certain with this franchise since his ideal role is unclear (he might work best as an instant-offense sixth man) and he doesn't offer the cleanest fit with backcourt building block Darius Garland.
But the fact that Sexton is still on his rookie contract means he would likely need to be attached to another significant player in order to make the money work on a major deal. That might be more eggs than Cleveland wants to put in this season's basket given the front office might feel the LeVert trade, coupled with the organic growth of the young roster, is enough to take this team where it wants to go.

Cleveland's offense needed a major lift, and LeVert can provide it in two critical areas: scoring and shot creation.
What he probably won't do, though, is address an outstanding need for floor-spacing. LeVert, a career 33.4 percent three-point shooter, only finished one of his first five NBA seasons with a perimeter splash rate north of 35.
The Cavs get zero outside shooting from the frontcourt combo of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. Isaac Okoro isn't a three-point threat, either. The offensive end can get cramped pretty quickly despite Garland's best efforts to open things up.
It probably doesn't make sense to splurge on a shooter since defense is what will determine the height of this club's ceiling. A lower-cost move for a three-point gunner could go a long way, though.

The Cavaliers won't push all of their chips to the center of the trade table, but they are clearly on the buyer's side of the market.
With a defense that's ready to contend, nudging the offense closer to the top 10 could make this campaign really interesting.
Cleveland, then, should sift through its remaining expendable assets and, if the right offer comes along, put them in play. That could mean subtracting a rotation regular like Cedi Osman or Dean Wade in the right deal.
More likely, though, the Cavs could dangle the 2022 second-rounder they are owed from the San Antonio Spurs for more immediate relief. It's possible rival clubs will view that as something like a late first-round pick given the Spurs entered Monday night tied for the sixth-fewest wins in the NBA this season.
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