Pro No. 3 – Immediate bar raiser
In short, Kristaps Porzingis would immediately improve the Cavaliers’ chances at contention. Though years down the road things might get muddy with salaries and taxes, those might simply need to be issues for the future Cleveland front office to figure out. The Cavaliers would still remain below the luxury tax and have their full Mid-Level and Bi-Annual Exceptions available to bring in more talent this offseason.
Further, the Cavs could swing the deal to retain the 49th pick in this year’s NBA draft. Cleveland is reportedly looking to move up in the draft, too. Assuming the Cavaliers enter into the twenties in the draft, this would quickly add more depth to the rotation on a cheap rookie contract.
The deal would have to be short-sighted. The Cavs would need to believe that both Evan Mobley and Darius Garland will improve enough to reach the Finals incredibly soon before the team breaches the ominous second luxury tax apron being introduced in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
Maybe, though, that’s simply worth it. Bring another championship to Cleveland. There might be a rocky road ahead once the team has to make hard decisions regarding Porzingis and Mitchell staying or leaving. But, even reaching the NBA Finals this early would give Cleveland’s beloved young duo in Garland and Mobley invaluable experience and knowledge to catapult themselves into a new era during their primes.
The Cavaliers made an all-in move to get Donovan Mitchell last year, and that took the Cavs to their first Playoff appearance since LeBron James left to Los Angeles in 2018. Maybe one more big swing this summer gets them over the hurdle.