Training Camp for the Cleveland Cavaliers is still over a month away. Opening night is two months away. There are dozens of games scheduled before February 2024 rolls around. That’s a lot of time for players to change teams, roles to change, for needs and wants to flip on their heads.
Even so, the Cavaliers and every NBA team have to start looking around for potential trade candidates to target at the Trade Deadline. Players who aren’t available now, either because they recently signed with a new team or because their teams aren’t yet ready to shop them, could be attainable come February.
Which players should the Cavs start looking at carefully? Let’s target five such players and explain why they could be on the move and why the Cavaliers could be interested.
Trade candidate No. 1: Alex Caruso
The Cavaliers have one of the most offensively dynamic backcourts in the league with Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell dicing up defenses. Their issue is defense, and adding a player like Alex Caruso would give them a complementary player who has proven to be one of the best guard defenders in the league.
Caruso can pick up ball-handlers fullcourt, but more than the he is a maven in team defense, digging into the paint and recovering to his man, causing havoc from the nail and getting his hands on all sorts of loose balls. Add in that he’s only making $9.46 million next season and $9.89 the year after and he’s a prime target.
Why would the Chicago Bulls be willing to move him? At some point they have to start selling off their veteran pieces and could enter a firesale; even if they don’t, Caruso could be expendable given that they just signed Jevon Carter and re-signed Ayo Dosunmo on top of drafting Dalen Terry the year before. Getting value back for Caruso may be their plan.