The Cavs spoke with the New Orleans Pelicans about the possibility of a Josh Hart sign-and-trade, sources tell cleveland.com, but that possibility apparently vanished Monday, when Hart moved closer to a three-year, $38 million deal to stay in New Orleans. Cleveland has also explored the trade market. Kyle Anderson, Terrence Ross, Joe Ingles, Bojan Bogdanovic, Cam Reddish, T.J. Warren, Thaddeus Young, Tobias Harris, Jeremy Lamb and Harrison Barnes are all said to be available. Reddish is a player the Cavs liked in the 2019 draft. They’ve been in contact with Atlanta about him. But wings don’t come cheap.
In initial conversations, sources say most teams are asking for Cleveland’s 2022 first-round pick (with protections, of course), but that would be incredibly risky for a team with 60 total wins the last three years and projects to, in a best-case scenario, compete for a Play-In spot in 2021-22. Without the future first-rounder, which the Cavs seem unwilling to put on the table for any of the “available” wings, interest turns to either Larry Nance Jr. -- one of the few adults and winning players on the roster -- or the pair of extra 2022 second-round picks (Houston and San Antonio). Does combining one or both with Cedi Osman get the Cavs anywhere?
While exploring a bigger deal, the Cavs will continue to discuss the bottom-of-the-barrel wings that probably wouldn’t cost the mid-level exception. According to sources, there’s some interest in oft-injured Denzel Valentine who is said to be healthy. Svi Mykhailiuk, a career 36.2% 3-point shooter, could give them some minutes. There’s also one-dimensional Garrison Matthews. How about Stanley Johnson or James Ennis? Then again, are any of them better options than, say, a healthy Dylan Windler?
Sources say the Cavs also still have interest in a third point guard and backup center, recognizing the difficulties Mobley could have early in his career playing the 5. If they find a more dependable center (Ed Davis? Bismack Biyombo? Isaiah Hartenstein?) then Kabengele could be in danger of getting waived or traded.
Based on conversations with multiple sources, the priority order: wing, third guard, backup center.