3 things the Cavs can do to further progress in their rebuild

Iowa State Cyclones guard Tyrese Haliburton passes the ball. (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images)
Iowa State Cyclones guard Tyrese Haliburton passes the ball. (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images) /
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Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff high-fives Cleveland center Andre Drummond. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

For the Cleveland Cavaliers to further progress in their rebuild, they’ll need to make tough decisions.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, just like any team in a post-LeBron James era, have found themselves stuck in a rebuild after the King left their team after his second stint with them. In both years after LeBron went to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Cavaliers have finished with one of the worst records in the league.

Cleveland, who had the league’s second-worst record heading into the novel coronavirus-induced hiatus at 19-46, was not one of the top 22 teams invited to Orlando for the NBA season’s resumption at Disney World later this summer.

On a positive note, however, those two years’ records resulted in very high draft picks and valuable pieces to rebuild the roster and hopefully can bring the team back to the forefront of the NBA, and/or postseason contention.

Looking at where the team’s roster is currently, there is a lot of work for general manager Koby Altman and the rest of the Cavs front office to do to make this rebuild happen, and that’s clear.

Regarding that, there are three big things that can happen in the upcoming season and/or next offseason, and the 2020 NBA Draft that can get the team headed in the right direction.

One of those we’ll touch on now.

The Cleveland Cavaliers need to eventually trade costly veterans

One of the three ways that the Cavaliers can jumpstart their rebuild is to trade or at least attempt to trade some of their veterans and other players on awful contracts in exchange for young talent and/or draft picks.

As it is certain that the team will not be making a major push for a championship in the near future, moving on from older players in return for players they can still mold and develop or draft is very valuable for the team. In the near future, one of the two players that the Cavaliers should trade in that realm is Andre Drummond.

For clarification, Drummond is reportedly likely to pick up his $28.8 million player option for the 2020-2021 season and it is very unlikely that any other team would offer him anywhere near that kind of money if he did not. While Drummond is a very good team defender on the interior/in the paint, and arguably the best rebounder in the entire NBA, he does not fit with the current roster and the timetable of the team’s core.

There should be a market for a player like Drummond near the next trade deadline, though, with him being one of the best centers in the league, and in his brief Cavs stint thus far, he had a solid 17.5 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.4 steals per game.

With him being a proven commodity inside, the Cavs should easily find a suitor and in return could get a package of perhaps a few players that could improve from a change, and be attached with future draft capital. Drummond would appear to be a quality trade chip as likely an expiring player by next deadline.

Next is Kevin Love,  whose name has been one that has been in trade rumors for most of his time with the Cavaliers. It is likely as a result of the salary cap expected to decrease more going into next season due to COVID-19 that trading Love will be extremely difficult before next season and mid-next season.

Statistically, he is beginning to regress and is much older than the players the Cavs are building around. Along with that, Love likely wants to be in a situation in which he can compete for a championship during perhaps the final stretch of his career. He currently has three years left on his deal for a total of $91.5 million.

With that being the case, he is a player that will continue to take up a major portion of the team’s cap space and could possibly inhibit them from re-signing the budding stars that the team currently has to the contract extensions they deserve, and that seems to be Collin Sexton down the road, and feasibly Kevin Porter Jr.

Two goals for Collin Sexton for next season. light. Related Story

Looking at the 2021 offseason, with Love only then having two more years left on his deal, if there is not a major drop off in his level of play in the 2020-2021 season, it should not be too difficult to find a contender that would be thrilled to have his services.

That’d be realistically after the loaded 2021 free agency period, as Forbes‘ Evan Dammarell suggested.

While Love is no longer an All-Star player and he could feasibly have a bit of a decrease from his 17.6 points per game next season, he still is a good passing big that had 3.2 assists per game in 2019-20, and he’s still a really productive defensive rebounder.

He’s one of the game’s best floor spacing bigs that shot 37.4 percent from three-point land last season, too, but again, seemingly next offseason, need to deal him to move forward.

The second way the Cleveland Cavaliers can further progress in their rebuild is related to their approach in the 2020 NBA Draft.