Cleveland Cavaliers Potential Moves – Pro Sports Outlook
With the 2023 trade deadline around the corner, let’s look at some potential moves the Cleveland Cavaliers could make. Following their Thursday night win over the Memphis Grizzlies, currently the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers sit fifth in the East with a 32-22 record. While the Cavs have had a strong season to date, they’re still head and shoulders behind teams like the Boston Celtics, who pace the Eastern Conference with 37 wins and are poised to make another title run after falling just short in 2022.
The Ohio betting apps has the Cavaliers at +2000 to win the 2023 NBA Championship, tied with the Pelicans for ninth-best in the league: odds vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, however, so make sure to shop around if you’re the betting type. The Cavaliers have hit a rough patch as of late, playing .500 ball in January and missing a prime opportunity to surpass the similarly-skidding Nets.
With President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman and General Manager Mike Gansey working in tandem to call the shots in the offices at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the Cavaliers have one of the best one-two punches of any front office in the league. What’s more, help is on the way: the NBA trade deadline is less than a week away, set for 3pm ET on Thursday, February 9.
Here’s a look at what the Cavaliers could do to make waves before the clock strikes zero on the trade deadline next week. Expect potential supplemental moves for Cleveland but not the home run swing.
Potential Trade Targets
Even though the Cavs already have a logjam of wings who haven’t been able to secure the starting role for good, they might be looking to add another to the mix: one name that’s been linked to Cleveland increasingly over the past few days is New York Knicks small forward Cam Reddish. Cleveland isn’t the only interested suitor, however, as reports also include the Dallas Mavericks in the negotiations.
Reddish stands 6-foot-7 and is listed at 217 pounds. He’s an athletic wing and was a five-star recruit on the star-studded 2018 Duke Blue Devils team that included Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett. To date, he hasn’t been able to translate his abilities to the pros. A former lottery pick by the Atlanta Hawks, Reddish never caught on in the Big Apple and hasn’t played in a game since December 3, when he “expressed displeasure to a Knick[s] assistant coach” at his lack of playing time, per Ian Begley of SNY.
Before his benching, Reddish averaged 8.4 points in nearly 22 minutes per game this season. Reddish’s stock is about as low as it can go right now, but whether the Cavaliers want to take a flier on a depth piece remains to be seen. One Cavaliers’ player whose name has come up in trade rumors is 28-year-old wing Caris LeVert. Leaping to the front of those headlines are the Lakers and Clippers, but Hoopswire’s Sam Amico reports that most of the rest of the league is asking about LeVert as well. Replacing a proven player like LeVert for someone who hasn’t been able to figure things out as Reddish comes with a good deal of risk, but it could pay in spades in the long run.
To Buy, or Not to Buy?
Despite their recent struggles, the Cavaliers aren’t letting the mid-season woes get to them. Following the Cavs’ loss to Miami on January 31, head coach J.B. Bickerstaff offered a message of support for his young team, noting that all five starters are 26 or younger. “We had a conversation with the guys about the reality of where we are,” Bickerstaff said. “I think in all the noise and chatter, people forget how much this group has accomplished. There are seven teams that have more than 30 wins in the NBA and we’re one of those teams.”
Bickerstaff went on to urge patience, noting that it takes time to build a championship roster. “The teams ahead of us are teams that have been weathered and been through things that have built that. Sometimes I think people wanna skip steps in getting where we all want to go,” Bickerstaff said. “We’re not putting a roof on our guys, but what they’ve accomplished at this age is above and beyond what is standard…Building a team is not easy. It takes some bumps, it takes some bruises, it takes some failures. You learn from your biggest mistakes.”
While we may not know if Bickerstaff’s thinking directly mirrors that of the front office, it seems like the Cavaliers don’t want to mortgage their future to increase their title chances this season, opting instead to trust the process as they continue to shore up a team that won just 41 games during the 2019 and 2020 seasons. However, these potential moves could definitely help Cleveland with their playoff aspirations.