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NBA Trade Rumors: Cavaliers Expected to Eye 'Short-Term Wing Option' Before Deadline

Adam WellsDecember 30, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 29: Head Coach John-Blair Bickerstaff of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during the game against the Indiana Pacers on December 29, 2022 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

Having already made their big trade to bring in Donovan Mitchell during the NBA offseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers are likely going to be in the market for wings as they pursue upgrades before the trade deadline.

Per ESPN's Zach Lowe, the Cavs are expected to pursue a "short-term wing option" on the trade market.

This isn't exactly a surprising revelation, as the Cavs roster is loaded with guards and big men. Dean Wade has been a pleasant surprise so far this season, but it's fair to wonder if he will be able to keep making 41.1 percent of his three-point attempts.

Kevin Love, Caris LeVert and Isaac Okoro are the other wings receiving significant playing time for head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. They are all incredibly flawed players. Love has been excellent at drawing charges, but he's otherwise a liability on the defensive end of the court.

LeVert has been good at scoring on a high volume of shots throughout his career. The 28-year-old is averaging 11.8 points on 10.7 attempts per game this season. His 35.1 three-point percentage is his highest rate since the 2019-20 season.

Okoro could be a key player for the Cavs in the second half this season because he's still young enough to believe in his upside. The Auburn alum is only 21 years old and was the No. 5 pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

It's a small sample size, but Okoro is averaging 9.5 points on 53.8 percent shooting in six games since Dec. 17.

Defense has been Cleveland's calling card so far this season. The team ranks first in the NBA in points allowed per game (106.3) and defensive rating (109.3).

Finding a wing who could be available at the right price for Cleveland could also be a challenge. Jae Crowder would be the most obvious short-term fit because he's in the final season of his contract, but there are going to be no shortage of suitors for his services.

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins is seemingly always on the trade block, but he doesn't fit the Cavs' reported desire for a short-term option because he's signed to a big-money deal through 2024-25 with a player option for 2025-26.

Cleveland's success so far this season could prompt general manager Mike Gansey to go out of his comfort zone with the hope of reaching the NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers rank fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 22-14 record. Their +5.3 net rating is second in the NBA, behind only the Boston Celtics (+6.7).