The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly big buyers, searching for trade targets ahead of the NBA’s trade deadline. Per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Cavs are, “one of the most active teams” in trade talks. In addition, Windhorst reported, “They want perimeter players, they want guards”. According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, the Cavaliers have several trade targets lined up.
Caris LeVert is the obvious one. I’ve discussed their interest in him for about a month now. Other names to watch: Dennis Schroder (there are concerns but he fits for a few reasons), Joe Ingles, Goran Dragic, Kyle Anderson (not sure they’d move him) and, of course, Ben Simmons. https://t.co/LfQXM45rJk
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) January 11, 2022
In terms of guards and wings on the trade market, it looks like a plentiful deadline with many options. With several prominent reporters pointing to Cleveland before the trade deadline, it seems a near-lock the Wine and Gold make another trade, committing to winning now.
Breaking Down the Cavaliers’ Trade Targets
Among Fedor’s list of trade targets, several could be nice fits for the Cavs. Joe Ingles is a good wing option with the ability to be a knockdown shooter. He could be acquired for a reasonable price from Utah due to his age at 34-years-old with a dropoff in production this season; his three-point shooting has dropped from 45.1% to 37.6%. However, Cleveland’s offense presents many good looks from three with their large, imposing frontcourt looming in the paint. Trading for Ingles would be worth the risk as a cheaper option, hoping he cranks up production once landing in Cleveland.
Dennis Schroder and Goran Dragic would be solid additions as veteran guards that provide scoring, exactly what the Cavs need. Schroder has averaged over 15 points per game with Boston this season, while Dragic has only appeared in five games, shooting at career-low marks. Schroder would instantly add scoring on the perimeter but would demand a higher trade cost. Dragic has been a skillful scorer throughout his career, but his poor health this season is a major concern.
The Cavaliers trading for Ben Simmons and Kyle Anderson seems quite unlikely. First off, Memphis may not be willing to part with Anderson (as Fedor reported). If that’s the case, Cleveland would have to offer a must-take offer which would be expensive. This would be a questionable move since Anderson — who has prototypical forward size with limited mobility — does not address the Cavs’ immediate needs. Also, even finding a solid role for Anderson would be a hard-pressed task.
Meanwhile, the Sixers continue to ask for the entire house for Simmons. More than likely, this trade would shake up Cleveland’s core and he has yet to appear in one game. Simmons will need to knock off some rust when he finally appears in games. Similar to Anderson, the question arises: Where would Simmons even fit on the roster?
One Trade Target Looms Large Among the Rest
The name that has been connected the most to the Wine and Gold is Caris LeVert. For over one month, the talented scoring wing has been rumored to be a potential trade target for Cleveland. Also, the Pacers are on the verge of starting a complete rebuild, trading away their best assets. LeVert’s departure from Indiana seems almost certain, and what better destination than the Cavaliers?
The sixth-year guard is an Ohio native and would receive a warm welcome home. Perhaps Cleveland’s largest need is simply adding another shot marker on the perimeter. While the Cavs have been successful thus far, offensive lulls have been present. During these droughts, another shot maker can help cure the problem. LeVert would be somewhat costly since he has averaged nearly 18 points this season, but it will be reasonable, more than likely. After all, he has only played in 28 games, harming his value.
When healthy, LeVert is a very talented scoring wing. He is in the midst of his prime and is on a contract until 2023 at a reasonable price of roughly $18 million per year. Other squads are interested in LeVert, making it a tough competition to win the trade sweepstakes.
Ahead of the NBA’s trade deadline, the Cavaliers have an aggressive approach. With many trade targets, Cleveland could address their weaknesses before the postseason rolls around. One thing is for certain: the Cavs are doing everything they can to win this season.
Featured image courtesy of Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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