Despite coming up just short of making the postseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers still had a successful 2021-22 campaign considering they found themselves in the playoff mix for most of the season. The Cavaliers saw two of its young stars have a breakout season, with Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen both earning their first All-Star nods. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s prized rookie Evan Mobley had a terrific debut campaign that saw him finish second to Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes in Rookie of the Year voting.
With unfinished business on their plate, the Cavs will undoubtedly aim to make the postseason in 2022-23. The Cavs have a decision to make with Collin Sexton’s impending restricted free agency. Furthermore, they may need to consider making some changes if they want to take the next step. A trade or two may be needed to get them over the hump. With that, here are three players the Cavs must trade in the 2022 offseason.
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3 players Cavs must trade
1. Collin Sexton
With the emergence of Darius Garland as an All-Star, Collin Sexton may become expendable for the Cavaliers. As a duo, they’d be great offensively with Garland’s playmaking capabilities and Sexton’s gifted scoring ability. However, they could be exploited on the other side of the floor due to their lack of size.
With Sexton hitting restricted free agency, the Cavs have control in whether they intend to keep him a part of their future. They will be able to match whatever offers the former Alabama star receives and accepts.
If Sexton indeed decides to sign an offer sheet from a different team, the Cavaliers should take advantage and try to acquire some other assets in return for the 23-year-old. They already have Caris LeVert at shooting guard and took Ochai Agbaji with their no. 14 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. With that, Cleveland can move on from Sexton and get more pieces in return to deepen the team’s rotation.
2. Isaac Okoro
Isaac Okoro ideally fits the timeline of this young, emerging Cavs squad. But if Cleveland wants to swing big for a star, they will need to include the 21-year-old.
The Cavaliers value Okoro for his defensive prowess. As a sophomore, he is already one of the more sound perimeter defenders in the NBA.
However, Okoro hasn’t really shown improvement on the other side of the floor, particularly with his shooting. Sure, he improved his three-point percentage to a respectable 35.0 percent in his sophomore campaign. But he’s attempting just less than three three-pointers per game. The 6-foot-5 wing wasn’t able to take advantage of the open looks he received just because he wasn’t taking those shots, which is a testament to where he is right now with regards to his confidence with his shooting.
As mentioned, the Cavs took Ochai Agbaji, who is a far superior shooter than Okoro. He shot 40.7 percent from three in his senior year at Kansas. If Agbaji is able to contribute right away, that will make the defensive-minded wing expendable.
3. Lauri Markkanen
The Cavaliers found a ton of success with their super-sized lineup, where they started Lauri Markkanen at the three along with Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen in the frontcourt. However, that may not be sustainable, especially in a league that is getting smaller and smaller.
With that, the Cavaliers should look to see who they can get for Markkanen. The Cavs already have a loaded frontcourt with Allen, Mobley, and Kevin Love coming off the bench. Perhaps they can use the 7-footer to acquire a 3-and-D wing that knows his role.