It’s no secret that the Cleveland Cavaliers weakest link in their starting lineup is at small forward.
Caris LeVert was as inconsistent as his roles last season. Cedi Osman was as inconsistent as ever. Isaac Okoro remaining limited offensively. Dylan Windler continues to battle injuries. Dean Wade was underwhelming as the heir apparent to a declining Kevin Love.
Yes, the Cavs trading 2023 Most Improved Player of the Year award winner Lauri Markkanen to the Utah Jazz allowed them to acquire star guard Donovan Mitchell. A deal that kept Cleveland in the mix during the early absence of backcourt mate Darius Garland, acquiring Mitchell also allowed the Cavs to replace an awkward fit in Collin Sexton.
All in all, it was a win for a Cleveland franchise prioritizing chemistry, as they also demonstrated when they agreed to a contract buyout with Kevin Love amid concerns about how the veteran would react to a lack of playing time.
Nonetheless, none of this has changed the fact that the Cavs need a steady and reliable small forward. So, with the offseason starting early in Cleveland following a first-round loss to the New York Knicks in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, it’s certainly worth noting who the Cavs might have an eye on.
As it stands now, one such player could be Brooklyn Nets wing Royce O’Neale.
Enzo Flojo ·
Rumored to have interest in O’Neale prior to the trade deadline, the recent confirmation provided by cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor is particularly intriguing, as he notes that the Cavs “were far down the road” on a trade for O’Neale before the Nets decided to keep him.
Although there’s no guarantee that Cleveland is still interested in O’Neale now, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Cavs finally managed to pry the 3-and-D stud away from Brooklyn.