4 things Cavaliers must immediately do the minute free agency begins

Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images /
4 of 4
Cleveland Cavaliers
Bruce Brown Jr., Denver Nuggets. Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images /

Move No. 4: Sign a wing to the Mid-Level Exception

Setting aside any big swings on the trade market, the best avenue the Cavaliers have to upgrade their team is the “Full Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception,” or MLE. That exception allows the Cavaliers to sign a player despite being over the salary cap, and will allow contracts starting at up to $12.4 million in the first year (and going as many as four years).

The Cavaliers need a two-way wing, a player who can capably start at small forward. Caris LeVert is not the answer, nor is Isaac Okoro. Cleveland needs a player who can shoot and play defense; the players who do both perfectly aren’t available at all, let alone for the Mid-Level, but a player has to offer enough of both to survive on the floor in the playoffs.

There are a few intriguing names out there to consider. Bruce Brown is an excellent defender coming off of a championship with the Denver Nuggets, and his shot has improved enough that he could fit the bill. Kelly Oubre Jr. was prolific on a bad Charlotte team the past two seasons. Josh Richardson, Dillon Brooks, Harrison Barnes, Grant Williams, Max Strus and Jae Crowder have all been bandied about in rumors as well.

The Cavaliers need to identify their target, offer the full MLE, and move quickly if the offer isn’t accepted. Those wings are coveted around the league, and there are more teams in the market than players, so Cleveland has to make sure they aren’t stuck without a chair when the music ends.

3 buy-low trade targets who Cavaliers can target post-draft. dark. Next

These moves aren’t the only ones the Cavaliers will need to make this summer. They need to negotiate a new deal with Caris LeVert, be that back in Cleveland or a sign-and-trade to another team. They will have extension talks with Isaac Okoro. Trade possibilities remain, as will signings to the minimum or BAE to bring another point guard and another big to the roster. But the four moves above are the ones the Cavs need to make immediately as soon as free agency begins.