This offseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers have to improve their wing and/or starting small forward outlook. Those are the most pressing needs for the Cavaliers, and more legitimacy in those areas could’ve made a difference in Cleveland’s frustrating loss in the first round to the New York Knicks.
Cleveland has a talented quarter of players filling both backcourt and frontcourt spots in Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, and it’s up to Koby Altman and company to provide help for those players.
Fittingly, the Cavaliers have been linked to a litony of players that could be impactful and aid Cleveland’s wing and/or 3 man situation.
Royce O’Neale, Dorian Finney-Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr., Doug McDermott and Bojan Bogdanovic, among others have been rumored possible trade targets for the Cavaliers. As it pertains to possibilities for free agency, Kelly Oubre Jr., Jalen McDaniels, Max Strus and Terrence Ross, among others, have been names floating around it seems for Cleveland.
The Cavaliers need some infusion of external talent, like several other clubs, particularly ones who had either underwhelming seasons in general or had disappointing postseasons. It’s only natural for fans and media outlets alike to mention hypothetical targets for all kinds of teams when the NBA season is almost concluded, and along those lines, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report suggested one possible trade for each non-NBA Finals team to consider this offseason.
For the Cavaliers, he stated the following, in what would be a trade with the Washington Wizards.
Corey Kispert is a quality player for the Wizards, and through two seasons, has proven himself to be a steady contributor when he’s had ample opportunities.
That being said, with rumors swirling about the Wizards potentially set to enter a full-rebuild, and leadership changing in their upper management, it’d be sensible for Cleveland, among others, to pursue potential deals with Washington this summer.
With those things in mind, Kispert, especially would have the makings of an outstanding trade target, too, for the Cavaliers.
Kispert is an ideal trade target for the Cavaliers to pursue this offseason.
Kispert is not necessarily a player whose name has often been floating around as far as trade rumors go, but Washington potentially primed to do a full reset, one would imagine Kispert, among several other current Wizards players, could be eventually dealt for future assets.
Kispert has been a quality draft selection by the Wizards and has been a knockdown shooter for them through two seasons, so they’re going to value him. Having said that, with what could be a full-rebuild it appears maybe on the horizon for Washington, Kispert would feasibly become attainable in that event.
Now, whether the Cavaliers would be willing to part with the potential package Swartz suggested above is another thing, but for the Wine and Gold, he could a perfect fit and could be so valuable to them for his shooting presence.
Kispert has connected on 39.1 percent of his three-point attempts in his first two seasons on a volume of 4.7 deep attempts per outing in what’s been an average of 25.8 minutes. He’s spent time in both bench and starting roles, having started in 81 of his 151 appearances.
If he were to be on the Cavs, though, the 6-foot-6 Kispert could absolutely solidify their starting 3 spot, and he has makings of a wing who would mesh so well with Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley. Kispert is a deadeye shooter.
In the 2022-23 campaign, Kispert placed in the 89th percentile on spot-ups, per Synergy Sports, on what was a robust frequency of 41.8 percent. As a rookie, he placed in the 77th percentile in those scoring situations.
Kispert’s perimeter shooting is not simply standstill looks, though, as Swartz expressed. The Gonzaga product is an adept movement shooter as well, and what makes him even more alluring is the fact that Kispert can make plays to counter hard closeouts, too.
Whether it’s drives off of pump fakes, getting to floaters, or transition plays, Kispert is more than a catch-and-shoot shooter. He connected on 67.0 percent of his shot attempts from inside of 10 feet in Year 2 on a 30.0 percent frequency, per NBA.com’s shot tracking data. Kispert’s definitely a vertical presence at the rim as well.
Defensively, Kispert is not a guy who is going to be an impact player on-ball, per se, which is a reason for concern if Cleveland were to acquire him and exhaust more of their future second-round picks, however.
He isn’t necessarily a turnstile, but there’s room needed for him to show growth on that end of the floor. He is put-together physically, there’s just limitations in his defense of wing creators.
Despite those shortcomings, if Kispert were to have the Cavaliers’ defensive infrastructure around him, he could definitely get better on that end, and his team defensive instincts are generally sound.
Overall, Kispert is a player who is not maybe going to have the name recognition of some other targets such as Buddy Hield or Bojan Bogdanovic, but he’s a more realistic target and could benefit from similar opportunities.
Also, when you factor in Kispert is 24, on a team-friendly rookie deal for two years, and also a great shooter, he could be a terrific trade acquisition who could be eventually signed long-term if he looks to be panning out.