With the draft just a week away, the Cavaliers are in full off-season mode.
As it stands, the front office is likely checking out prospects, filling out its big board, and praying it finds a little magic in the no. 14 pick.
But that doesn’t mean President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman shouldn’t keep one eye on the phone.
Because chances are, it will ring (if it hasn’t already).
The Cavaliers are in a strange spot; the team has lots of talent but could use a little more depth and a little more stardust.
To hammer home the point (and perhaps my own insanity), there’s a team that this Cavs team might compare well with: the 1979 Lakers.
For those who don’t remember, the 1979 Lakers were decent, finishing with a 47-35 record.
Also, there was some tension over recent draft pick Adrian Dantley’s future, who could score 20 points a night.
Reminding you of anyone?
I’m not saying the stats are precisely on point, but if you squint, the similarities are there.
But the Lakers were still a piece away.
Rather, a star away.
Favorite Fit: Malaki Branham to the Cavaliers
The Cavs could use another scoring punch and a potential long-term replacement for Caris Levert in Branham. Malaki would be a steal for them at pick 14, slotting perfectly into their team as constructed pic.twitter.com/gVQcxjc39T
— draft pow (@DraftPow) June 7, 2022
For the Lakers, it came in the draft in the form of Magic Johnson.
The Cavs need that last piece, and why not explore it in the trade market this summer?
The most obvious trade candidate for the Cavs is Kevin Love.
But the thrust of this article isn’t “Obvious Trade Candidates,” but rather, players the Cavs should “consider” trading.
There’s an element of sneakiness there that we’re going with here.
Without further ado, here are two players the Cavs should at least answer calls over:
1. Jarrett Allen
First, hear me out.
First: I compared the Cavs to the Showtime Lakers (remember how cool that was?)
Second: why not?
To be clear, I don’t think the Cavs should actually go forward with a trade unless a team sends in some godfather offer.
But why not just listen?
There are several teams that expect to be in the market for a center upgrade this summer.
The Hornets, Warriors, Suns (pending DeAndre Ayton’s future), and Mavericks could all use some interior help.
So what if Charlotte or Golden State calls up Altman, just to inquire?
Altman simply wouldn’t be doing his job if he refused the calls.
The market would probably be red hot for Allen, given how well he played this season.
Which is another reason why the Cavs will almost surely keep him.
But the quote isn’t “strike while the iron’s cold”; it’s “strike while the iron is coming off an All-Star, All-NBA, All-Defensive caliber season.”
Could Golden State be enticed to throw in some younger, now playoff-experienced players?
What might the Suns give up?
Allen is probably going nowhere.
But it doesn’t mean that Altman shouldn’t keep one ear open and consider it.
2. Collin Sexton
This pick is admittedly less sneaky.
But it’s worth including because, though Sexton could hit free agency, the Cavs could still wind up trading Sexton away via sign-and-trade.
The Cavs probably wouldn’t get a star in return (this would defeat the purpose of a sign-and-trade for the trading team).
But the Cavs could build their depth or draft capital, both of which could be parlayed into a bigger move down the line.
Interestingly, the sharks are already circling for Sexton, with several teams interested should the Cavs not re-sign him.
The Pistons and Pacers are considered the “biggest threats” to pry Collin Sexton away from the Cavaliers this off-season.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) June 1, 2022
It feels obvious, but the Cavs should absolutely consider trading Sexton and getting a return if they don’t see him in the long-term plans.