Trade speculation heated up for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the face of the team’s plethora of injury woes. With Darius Garland and Evan Mobley sustaining injuries that would keep them out for a considerable period of time, many people following the league believe that the Cavs would eventually become sellers and make the likes of Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen available for trade.
However, the Cavs have taken advantage of a bit of a cakewalk schedule as of late and they have gone 8-3 since December 16, crashing the top-six race in what is shaping up to be a congested Eastern Conference playoff picture. Now with a 21-15 record, the Cavs have optimism that they can remain competitive in the East especially when Garland and Mobley return.
As a result, the Cavs are reportedly looking to bolster their wing options as they try to improve upon last year’s disappointing playoff showing, leaning more towards being buyers and pulling off win-now moves rather than punting on the season and being sellers. To that end, according to Marc Stein, they are now reportedly interested in pursuing 3-and-D targets on the trade market.
Stein added that the Cavs have shown no indications that they’re entertaining the idea of trading Donovan Mitchell or Jarrett Allen anyway. Mitchell remains under contract until next season, so there is no urgency for them to trade him away, especially when they remain in the thick of the playoff race.
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Meanwhile, Allen is playing some of the most inspired basketball of his career. Empowered by a greater sense of responsibility amid injuries to Garland and Mobley, the 25-year old center is taking his playmaking game to the next level, all the while being his usual towering self on the interior on both ends of the court.
As for who the Cavs can target on the trade market, the likes of Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale could become available, especially if the Brooklyn Nets continue to fall off the pace. Perhaps the Cavs eschew the “D” side of the equation and trade for sharpshooters Buddy Hield, Bojan Bogdanovic, or Gary Trent Jr. to improve the team’s floor-spacing options.