The Cleveland Cavaliers look like they have the framework of a roster that could someday contend for an NBA championship, but they have lots of work to do before they can get to that level.
The team has multiple holes and weaknesses, and at least one of them needs to be filled this offseason if they are to make the playoffs for the first time since LeBron James‘ second departure in 2018.
Although this may not be an active offseason in terms of key players changing teams, they could be some key players the Cavs can go after, and they should be aggressive within reason.
The Eastern Conference has gotten very deep and competitive since James packed up to join the Los Angeles Lakers, and the status quo may not be good enough for Cleveland to appear in the 2023 NBA Playoffs.
Who could it go after this summer in order to make some noise next season?
There’s no telling how realistic this move could be, especially since the latest reports seem to indicate that he will sign a new contract with his current team, the Chicago Bulls.
But if he has any hesitation, perhaps the Cavs could find a way to swap Collin Sexton for him in a potential sign-and-trade.
Sexton is a very good offensive player, but at just 6-foot-1, he is something of a defensive liability, and starting him alongside Darius Garland could make the Cavs vulnerable at the end of the court.
LaVine may not be a future Defensive Player of the Year either, but at 6-foot-5, at least he could physically match up with opposing off guards and not let them go off.
Like Sexton, LaVine is a scoring dynamo, having averaged an efficient 24.4 points per game this season.
But he is a better playmaker, as evidenced by his 4.5 assists per game average this year.
Zach LaVine had the Hornets broadcasters in shambles 😭 pic.twitter.com/CyeeFq6tBa
— THROWBACK NBA MOMENTS 🏀 (@nba_throwback) June 14, 2022
LaVine is also an exciting player, and he could help put some pace into the Cavs’ offensive attack, something it seriously lacks.
Gary Trent Jr.
The son of a former NBA player, Trent is a 6-foot-5 swingman who is an accurate 3-point shooter and a capable scorer who averaged 18.3 points a game this season.
He also has some defensive ability, as he recorded 1.7 steals per contest this year.
Top 1-year rises in defensive impact (via D-LEBRON) among Wing Stoppers:
+2.18: Gary Trent Jr
+1.12: Maurice Harkless
+1.01: Hamidou Diallo
+0.95: Josh Okogie
+0.87: Jaylen Brown
Find top impact risers/fallers here free:https://t.co/Vibm2pcWFE
Wing Stopper Role Explainer 🔊⬇️ pic.twitter.com/nqGLuISPhA
— BBall Index (@The_BBall_Index) June 16, 2022
Trent has played with Damian Lillard on the Portland Trail Blazers and Fred VanVleet on the Toronto Raptors, so he does have experience playing with a somewhat ball-dominant, high-level point guard such as Garland.
Cleveland would love to get its hands on a productive two-way wing, especially one who is young, and Trent could fit the bill.
He is owed just over $17 million next season, so it would have to acquire him via trade, perhaps for Sexton.
Could the Raptors be talked into even accepting Kevin Love in such a deal?
Love is coming off a bit of a resurrection season in which he averaged 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in 22.5 minutes a game while hitting 39.2 percent of his 3-point attempts, and he could give Toronto some veteran leadership.