Cavaliers 2023 offseason primer: Free Agent Market
The Cleveland Cavaliers have $129.97 million in salaries on the books for next season, and with a $134 million salary cap that would leave them without meaningful cap space; even relinquishing every free agent and waiving every non-guaranteed contract would get them to just $12.7 million in space.
It makes much more sense for the Cavs to stay over the cap, re-signing whichever players they wish to and pursuing talent upgrades in free agency using the Full Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception (MLE for short) and the Bi-Annual Exception (BAE). The MLE will start at an estimated $12.2 million this season, while the BAE is estimated at $4.44 million.
The Cavs’ top need in free agency is for a 3-and-D wing, ideally, someone who can start at small forward. We ranked the top 20 free-agent 3-and-D players from Justin Holiday to Jerami Grant, as well as some individual looks at the following players:
Other areas of need for the Cavaliers in free agency other than depth on the wing include a backup center — either a stretch-big or someone with shot-blocking upside — and a third point guard.
Cleveland can begin negotiating with their own free agents the day after the NBA Finals conclude, but they have to wait until June 30th to negotiate with free agents from other teams. Here is more to know about the dates of free agency.