Currently, the Cavaliers might have their best depth at the power forward position with both Niang and Wade behind rising star Evan Mobley. If the Cavs look to upgrade, it would likely be a part of a larger dynamic shift in the frontcourt duo of Mobley and Allen. These two players could play a big role in Cleveland should that happen.
Another young entry on this list, Tari Eason could bring the Cavaliers a dynamic option to be the number one choice for power forward when Mobley plays the center. With only one year in the NBA so far, Eason would not be an immediate replacement for Jarrett Allen, and the Cavaliers do not need to panic and trade Allen after one bad playoff showing. At 22 years old, though, Eason can provide the Cavaliers with a young player who has already shown real talent and can continue to develop within Cleveland’s system.
If Allen does eventually leave the Cavaliers, then Eason would easily slide into the frontcourt with Mobley as a four. In his rookie season, Eason averaged 9.3 points and 6 rebounds in 21.5 minutes played per game. Defensively, Eason’s 6-foot-8-inch stature and his athletic play allow him to maintain his poise against either small or power forwards. Eason can provide guaranteed production at a young age and improve along with Cleveland’s young core.
If the Cavaliers do decide to part ways with Jarrett Allen this season in order to move Mobley to the five, targeting Kyle Anderson from the Minnesota Timberwolves would be a great move. Again, there is no need to wave goodbye to an All-Star center after a single bad playoff series, but if the Cavaliers do view Mobley as a center more than a forward, the separation of the two will become inevitable. Should it arrive this year, Anderson is a player who can play both the four and the three spot, giving the Cavaliers greater depth at forward and a knockdown shooter in the frontcourt.
In his first year with Minnesota last season, Anderson shot 41 percent from 3-point range on 1.5 attempts per night. His volume is not at the level of other forwards, but Anderson will consistently perform at a high level both offensively and defensively and does not need the ball in his hands to create his own shot. Trading Jarrett Allen for a ball-dominant, high-scoring forward would only complicate the team’s dynamic with Garland, Mitchell, and Mobley already present.
Funnily enough, Mobley may get some experience with a player of Anderson’s archetype this season regardless, seeing as Niang and Anderson are both known for their slow speed but lethal shooting. If Anderson did become a trade target for Cleveland, then the transition could prove to be faster than expected.
Last but not least, the Cavaliers could look to find a center with an entirely new skill set for their future.