Welcome to rumor season, otherwise known as the NBA offseason. For the Cleveland Cavaliers, it began a bit early after their untimely exit in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. While the series was devastating, it brought to light a number of necessary changes to the roster. The most clear is the need for a true starting wing.
In turn, there has been no shortage of potential trades involving the Cavs circulating the Internet. Though the Cavaliers have beenrumored to be targeting certain free agent bigs this offseason, there has been a bit less word on wing free agents that Cleveland will legitimately pursue. The majority of rumors have been involving trades with other developing rosters.
Thus, this is a ranking of five potential wings available for the Cavs via trade.
No. 5: Malik Beasley, Los Angeles Lakers
After losing his spot in the Lakers’ rotation in favor of Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves, the Los Angeles trade deadline acquisition might not even be available for trade once the market opens. The Lakers currently have a $16 million team option to retain Malik Beasley. If they choose to use it, then the Cavs can trade for him; however, if they deny it, Beasley would only be a possible free agent signing.
Beasley is a steady shooter with a career 37.8% three-point percentage through seven seasons in the NBA. Bringing Beasley to Cleveland adds an additional scoring threat from deep, but at only 6-foot-4, he would not answer the Cavs’ issues in terms of size. While Isaac Okoro has been a valuable defender, his stature makes him a liability in certain matchups next to an already short backcourt.
Additionally, trading for a player making $16 million this next season leads to a serious issue in negotiations. Realistically, the Cavaliers would need to match his salary by sending multiple players in return to Los Angeles. This could include not only Isaac Okoro but also Dean Wade and/or Ricky Rubio. With below average defense last year, Beasley is simply not worth it when there are better targets for Cleveland.