For the time being, the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers will be in the hands of three men – Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, and Evan Mobley. While the Cavaliers have possibly the most heart wrenching history in the trade market of the NBA thanks to former owner Ted Stepien, the modern Cleveland basketball squad has continually improved via trade and in-house development in recent years.
Over the offseason, Cleveland President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman has had one of the best showings across the Association in terms of moves and acquisitions. The Cavaliers struggled heavily in 3-point shooting and depth. Adding Max Strus, Georges Niang, and Ty Jerome pushes Cleveland’s long range threat and depth into the top teams among the league.
Looking forward, though, Altman’s work is not done if the Cavs plan to compete for the Finals with Mitchell at the helm.
Mitchell has been a loyal teammate thus far in his career, but as he enters his prime it will be critical that the Cavaliers prove their willingness to build around him and make Cleveland the best possible situation for him long term.
What are the changes still needed? Trade rumors consistently sprout, especially those including Jarrett Allen and/or Isaac Okoro. The reasons for both players are relatively similar. Okoro and Allen are tremendous defensively, but their offensive talents leave much to be desired at times, especially outside of the paint.
This suggests that Cleveland’s in-season moves will be based around improving their offensive versatility while maintaining their defensive identity. Charlotte’s P.J. Washington recently entered the discussion for the Cavs, but nothing has materialized yet.
Additionally, the path forward for Cleveland involves giving Evan Mobley the best environment to grow into the star he can clearly become.
In order to reach their ceiling, these three Cavaliers are the most likely to join a new roster by the 2023-24 trade deadline.