Return or Burn: Whether the Cavaliers should bring back each free agent

Kevin Love and Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Kevin Love and Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images /
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have the most meaningful March, April and May in front of them as they have had in five years. They are jockeying for playoff positioning as a team that will almost certainly be favored to win a first-round series and has a real shot at going further. No one is skipping ahead of the incredible basketball to be had.

Even so, every NBA team has to devote some of its attention to the coming offseason. The Cavs aren’t simply trying to win this year; they are trying to build a long-term contender, a team that will be a title favorite in two and three and four seasons. The core of this team is good enough, and young enough, for that to be a real possibility.

Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are all under contract for at least the next two seasons. Dean Wade just signed a new extension and is under contract for another three seasons. Isaac Okoro and Ricky Rubio are under contract for next season as well.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have a lot of pending free agents this summer.

The rest of the roster, however, could hit the open market this summer. How the Cavaliers navigate the decisions of who to re-sign and who to let walk will dictate the shape of the roster around their core.

Let’s assume for the sake of this discussion that the Cavaliers pick up the team option for Lamar Stevens and decide not to waive Cedi Osman, who has a non-guaranteed contract for next season. With Kevin Love already waived this season, that leaves seven free agents the Cavs have to make decisions on.

We’ll play “Return or Burn” to discuss whether the Cavaliers should bring each player back to the team next season, starting with the headliner of the Cavs’ free agent class.