No roster is perfect, but the Cleveland Cavaliers will need some more help if they are going to jump to NBA Finals contention.
Cavs President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman stressed the importance of shooting and spacing when he addressed the media on Friday.
“No roster is perfect,” Altman said, via HoopsWire’s Sam Amico. “As you go through the playoffs, you can see different weaknesses in different teams. Again, I re-focus it back to what we have in-house, and how excited we are about those guys and their upside and their development. They’re just getting started.
“… So that’s why you don’t overreact to this one series. Knowing what you have in-house and the runway you do have. We will look at all opportunities like we always have.”
Who should the Cavs go after in the offseason to help solidify their bench and continue their quest for a playoff spot and beyond? Will there be any perfect fits for this Cleveland roster that can work within the team’s remaining budget?
From Portland Trail Blazers forward Cam Reddish to Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic, the Cavs had no shortage of rumored options before the 2023 NBA trade deadline.
The Cavs were among the teams to have shown interest in then-Portland Trail Blazers guard Josh Hart before the deadline, according to the Stein Line’s Marc Stein. Yahoo! Sports senior NBA reporter Jake Fischer wrote Portland had “given rival teams the impression” that it was open to discussing the majority of its players, leading to a tweet from Cleveland.com Cavs reporter Chris Fedor that put more eyes on the former first-round pick.
“Cavs fans: Keep an eye on Josh Hart.”
Hart ended the regular season with 9.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. He played in 25 games and started in one for the New York Knicks after he was traded from Portland in a February trade.
He played in five games and started in two for New York when they faced the Cavs in the NBA playoffs, playing in 30 minutes or more during Games 1, 4 and 5 while finishing in double figures in 1, 3 and 4. He brought home a double-double at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Game 1, adding two assists and a steal as he became an unsung hero for the Knicks during the upset on Cleveland’s home court.
The Cavs desperately need a backup center.
Someone who can reliably bring down boards and block shots while providing enough of a scoring punch to take pressure off of forward Evan Mobley and center Jarrett Allen.
Cleveland’s tight rotation during the NBA Playoffs used seven players for 14 minutes or more in Game 1, Game 2, Game 4 and Game 5 during the NBA playoffs. Forward Cedi Osman, guard Caris LeVert, and forward Isaac Okoro took up the leading roles off the bench, while center Robin Lopez played in Games 2 and 3 for a total of six minutes.
Poeltl ended the 2022-23 season with 12.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 blocks per game for both the Toronto Raptors and the San Antonio Spurs last season. He played in 72 games and started in 71 for both franchises, most recently playing in 37 minutes during Toronto’s Play-In game against the Chicago Bulls.
One can only hope that his contract wants will stay within the mid-level exception range and that the Raptors will let him walk in free agency. Christian Wood from Dallas and Naz Reid from Minnesota are listed as unrestricted free agents by Spotrac, while Andre Drummond from Chicago has a player option with the division rival.
Keep in mind: Altman said Clevelandwasn’t afraid to enter the luxury tax threshold on Friday.
“We’re not scared to go into the tax,” said Altman, via ESPN Cavs reporter Danny Cunningham.
Alex Sabri ·
Alex Sabri ·
But whether or not they will have the cap space or the exceptions to sign their backup center of the future remains to be seen.
From one team in the 4-year NBA Finals battle to the other.
It may be a long shot to pry him from the hands of the playoff-bound Sacramento Kings and add the scoring forward to the Cavs’ rotation.
But it wouldn’t be the NBA offseason if there weren’t at least a few surprises.
He finished a historic season for the Kings, which saw them reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006, with averages of 15 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He shot 47.3% from the field and 37.4% from 3-point range.
Should they not find a way to bring him in, Jae Crowder from Milwaukee, Kelly Oubre Jr. from Charlotte and T.J. Warren from Phoenix are three players who are listed as unrestricted free agents.