The Cleveland Cavaliers have worked hard the last few seasons to build a young core despite not having cap space or many extra draft picks. Using both trades and their own lottery picks the Cavs have put together a collection of talent that makes sense together, and they will most likely have a starting lineup where every member is 23-and-under next season.
What fans have to come to grips with is the reality that the current young core is unlikely to stay completely together. As these players get more expensive and the Cavs move along their timeline, they will need to lose players in free agency and via trades in order to upgrade the talent and continue building a future contender.
When push comes to shove, nearly every player in the league can be moved. How should the Cavs’ roster be ranked, from least to most untouchable?
While certainly not a fan favorite, this is what happened to Damyean Dotson this month. The team had the opportunity to sign a player they liked better in Denzel Valentine and so they waived Dotson. To add Ricky Rubio via trade they had to send out Taurean Prince. Perhaps most painfully they sent out Larry Nance Jr., who was a fan favorite, to acquire Lauri Markkanen.
Moving forward, which players on the roster will be the first to go when the team sees a chance to improve? While recognizing that the team will try to get fair value for any of their players on guaranteed deals, which Cavs are most “available” and which ones are untouchable? Let’s walk through the entire roster, from Mfiondu to Mobley.