The Cavaliers are in an enviable position this offseason.
The front office is also at a major crossroads, with major decisions looming.
Do they resign Collin Sexton?
What should the team do with Caris LeVert?
Is a Darius Garland max on the horizon?
And who should the team take at no. 14, which figures to be (hopefully) the last lottery the Cavs pick in for a while?
It’s like President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman is at the end of a long hallway, with several different doors available.
Fans should have all the confidence in the world that Altman and the rest of the front office will make the right decision.
They’ve largely hit on draft picks over the last few years and pulled off bright trades and acquisitions.
One more question awaits Altman & Co. – how involved to get the trade mill.
The team has made shrewd moves for players recently, including last season’s trade for LeVert and one for Jarrett Allen the season before.
And this summer, the team should similarly keep an eye out for trade candidates to bolster the lineup.
Here are two potential considerations:
1. Harrison Barnes
Maybe Barnes isn’t the flashiest name.
He’s been around the block a few times now and currently suits up for the Sacramento Kings.
And while he’s no longer the player who contributed mightily to Golden State’s incredible team seven-plus years ago, he’s shown some signs of life recently.
I’m so ready for Cavs basketball again.
— Will (@TheWillHoltz) May 20, 2022
Over the past two seasons, Barnes has averaged just over 16 points a night on roughly 48% shooting.
With a PER of about 15.5 over that stretch, he isn’t the world’s most efficient player, but he’s an upgrade over the current starting options at forward for the Cavaliers.
His defense leaves a little to be desired, but as long as he isn’t asked to carry the lion’s share of defensive responsibilities, he’s a perfectly capable addition.
And in the Cavaliers’ lineup, he certainly wouldn’t need to be the it-man on defense.
The Cavaliers should target Barnes for two reasons.
First, Barnes brings nine seasons of NBA experience, including deep playoff runs with the Golden State Warriors.
On a young Cavaliers team lacking that same prior exposure, having a steady and seasoned presence could go a long way to keeping the Cavs playing late into the offseason.
Second, the Cavaliers could use an upgrade at small forward.
No one is throwing in the towel on Isaac Okoro, but the 2020 lottery pick needs time.
Why not let him learn under Barnes’ tutelage?
Barnes would also be an upgrade over Lauri Markkanen, whose long-term fit is questionable.
Could Barnes start for this squad and contribute?
Could Barnes also play second-team minutes at either forward spot while Evan Mobley gets a breather?
2. Donovan Mitchell
Right now, Altman has several chips at the table.
Why not push all the chips in for a star?
No, Mitchell isn’t quite a superstar, but on this Cavs team, he wouldn’t have to be.
Crazy amount of responses to this hypothetical I sent to the boys this morning. Love seeing Cavs Twitter getting active again! Wonder what the response would be if the same trade were offered but instead of Bradley Beal we got Donovan Mitchell👀👀👀
— JustinHero (@JustinHeroVerse) May 18, 2022
In fact, Mitchell could easily be a third offensive option in the clutch.
This is important, given how rough his clutch shooting numbers look (37.5%).
But isn’t Mitchell exactly what this team needs?
A secondary playmaker and ball handler capable of initiating his own offense.
An excellent player in the pick and roll, who would fit right in with Allen and Mobley.
A guard whose defensive woes could be masked by the general defensive excellence of his surroundings.
Mitchell would bring immediate excitement and anticipation to an already momentum-fueled Cavaliers team.
It would cost a fortune, no question about it – likely all of the aforementioned assets and then some.
But it’s hardly mortgaging the future when the rest of the core is this young and this talented.