Most of the players on this list would get my personal stamp of approval as well; the kinds of players the Cavaliers should be targeting are two-way forwards who can help on defense and space the court on offense. Kyle Kuzma doesn’t really fit the bill.
That doesn’t mean he isn’t an extremely talented and skilled player, a guy worth the long-term contract that the Washington Wizards gave him. It’s just that Kuzma is not a very scaleable player; that is, his skillset is difficult to fit with the on-ball creators he would need to play with to be on a winning team.
Kuzma may have taken a step forward last season, but he was also helped by pure volume, increasing his shot attempts to 17.8 per game and riding similar efficiency on greater volume to 21.2 points per game. To his credit, he did increase his 3-point attempts, but his accuracy went down; he’s a career 33.8 percent 3-point shooter and hit only 33.3 percent last season. Shooting is not a strength for Kuzma.
For a team that needs someone to come in, eat possessions and get a decent shot up, Kuzma is a great fit. The problem is that contenders, like the Cavaliers aspire to be, need players who can thrive alongside other creators. Kuzma is not that guy, not anymore, and he wouldn’t bring a lot to the table as the fourth option on the Cavs.
The Cavaliers may decide to hang on to Jarrett Allen, seeing out the pairing with Evan Mobley for as long as possible. They may also decide to move quickly and trade him for another player who can help at a different position. If so, one of these six players could be heading to The Land by the time February rolls around.