2023 seems to be the year of chasing a star in the trade market. The Phoenix Suns have traded for two this year already, adding Kevin Durant in February and Bradley Beal this past weekend. The Dallas Mavericks added Kyrie Irving. Names like Zion Williamson and Damian Lillard have flooded the trade market.
The Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t in the mix for any of those names; they fired most of their bullets last offseason to add Donovan Mitchell. Yet as trade rumors swirl around center Jarrett Allen, most of the deals discussed have assumed that Cleveland would trade him for multiple role players.
That’s certainly a possibility, to give the Cavs multiple rotation wings, but if they trade Jarrett Allen they should first set their sights up, not down. Why can’t Cleveland make a move for a star on the trade market? Let’s discuss four that they might be able to put together a reasonable package for, starting with an All-NBA forward playing north of the border.
Trade target No. 1: Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
The 29-year-old Pascal Siakam has had a really impactful career, developing from draft flier to Most Improved to second-best player on a title team to two-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA player. He is a stout defender at 6’9″ and has developed into a really strong offensive force, spinning his way through defenses. Add in his playmaking skill and he would be an excellent fit next to Evan Mobley in a new-look Cleveland frontcourt.
Why would the Raptors be willing to trade him? They built their team around three power forwards in OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam, and at some point will need to break up that trio because only Anunoby is a plus-shooter. Allen could be an upgrade on Jakob Poeltl, or replace him if he walks in unrestricted free agency this summer. Perhaps Isaac Okoro, Allen and a handful of second-round picks get this close enough to happen, or even a sign-and-trade with Caris LeVert added into the mix.