The Cavs are clearly in a massive rebuild phase, after losing LeBron James yet again to Free Agency. They finally have their championship in their trophy cabinet, after years of praying that LeBron brings home one.
Now, they must rebuild and move some of their highest-paid veterans to clear cap space and let the young stars grow. Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, and Kevin Porter Jr. are showing great promise and will need enough chances to try out their skillsets in big games and get better. Sexton looks like a point guard for the future, and Garland has all the tools to be an effective NBA starter.
On the other end, the Cavs have some remaining dead weight from their Championship runs in the recent past. These players are not helping the Cavs become relevant, nor helping their cause: tanking. The Cavs need to keep losing and acquiring draft players to speed up their rebuild process, and hopefully build an All-Star team in the future. They need to prove that they can be relevant without LeBron James, and moving these players is the very first step.
5. Matthew Dellavedova
Why the Cavs want to trade him: Dellavedova is not a guy who is effective in a rebuilding team, thanks to his limited impact that is suited to a win-now team requiring the depth. Dellavedova is also an upcoming Free Agent who will want the maximum amount of money on the market. He is getting older and is not a star player, so he must be moved in order to not lose him for nothing. The Cavs can hopefully package him in a trade for a strong young player.
Why teams want him: Teams can easily be in the running for Matthew Dellavedova, thanks to two major reasons. First, Dellavedova is a stout defender who can hit outside shots and provide depth to any NBA team. He plays hard, and always puts forth his most effort to help his team win games. Secondly, and most importantly, he is a 2020 Free Agent and teams can acquire him temporarily to clear Cap Space for the coming season.
Recap: $9.6 million this season, Free Agent 2020
4. Brandon Knight
Why the Cavs want to trade him: Brandon Knight was a very capable player who could effectively play both the point guard and shooting guard position. He showcased solid shooting, playmaking, and scoring ability as a starter and as a back-up. Unfortunately, he has had a very recent injury where he was incapable of recovering his form. Teams also seemed to give up on him and have bounced around a bit. The Cavs will want to move him to make room for their rebuilding process and acquire some picks and young players.
Why teams want him: Knight can still recover his form, and provide a mix of shooting and playmaking at both guard positions. For teams looking for depth, they could do a lot worse than Brandon Knight. Knight, when healthy and playing confidently, can be a very capable guard in a 4-man rotation. Teams can maybe offer some second-round picks to acquire Knight, to hopefully pray on his health. Secondly, and most importantly, Knight is a Free Agent soon and teams can clear their cap space in the very near future which is always a massive plus.
Recap: $15.6 million this season, Free Agent 2020
3. Jordan Clarkson
Why the Cavs want to trade him: The Cavs want to acquire the best young players in the league, and Clarkson does not necessarily fit that mold. Clarkson is not a particularly young player and is entering his prime. The Cavs might not want to commit long-term to Clarkson, and he is a Free Agent soon. Instead of losing him for nothing, they can clear their cap space immediately and generate some picks to add to their stash. The Cavs will want to tank as well as possible, and getting rid of their best players currently will do the trick.
Why teams want him: Clarkson was the best scorer on the Cavs last year and is a very capable 6th man. He is an offensive explosion waiting to happen and is still in his prime. Clarkson is a much better shooter and scorer and can nail mid-range jumpers and three-point shots. For teams looking for more instant offense, Clarkson can be a very capable player. At the same time, he is a Free Agent in 2020 and teams can clear their salary cap and look to sign Free Agents. Clarkson is one of the best trade targets in the league because of his ability, age, and Cap Space impact.
Recap: $13.4 million this season, Free Agent 2020
2. Tristan Thompson
Why the Cavs want to trade him: Thompson makes a ton of money, thanks to LeBron James, and is also very capable on defense and crashing the boards. A player like Thompson helps you win games, which is the opposite of what Cleveland needs right now.
Cleveland wants to lose, and losing to teams on the boards is a surefire way to do that. Thompson is making some big money at the moment and is still young enough to attract attention across the league. Cleveland needs to move him now to maximize their return.
Why teams want him: Thompson is a monster on the boards, who is always at the right place at the right time. He is great at defensive rebounding thanks to his size and physicality, but also on the offensive boards due to his natural instinct and hustle. Furthermore, Thompson has proven to be a winner and teams would welcome that addition.
Recap: $18.5 million this season, Free Agent 2020
1. Kevin Love
Why the Cavs want to trade him: Cleveland wants to win games, and Love is their best player. That is a recipe for disaster, and they will want to move him to maximize their return.
Kevin Love was the excellent third piece to their Championship run a few years ago and proved to be one of their most productive players in the history of their franchise. But as of now, they should look to move on. Love makes big money and does not fit Cleveland’s mold of acquiring and playing young talent. By moving Love, they can at least guarantee some picks or young players as he is still very valuable.
Why teams want him: If there is a perfect power forward in today’s NBA, it’s Kevin Love. He is an amazing shooter, especially from the corners, and can also crash the boards very well. Love averaged 17 and 11 last season despite only playing 22 games. He will most likely be returning more rejuvenated and hungry for a new opportunity, and teams will want him to greatly improve their outside shooting and big man depth.
Recap: Kevin Love is still one of the best power forwards in the NBA