What about the Cleveland Cavaliers; does this trade make sense for them to make? Is this the right way to push some chips into the middle and make a radical shift to their core?
Let’s lay out the Cavs’ specific transactions in this trade. They are essentially making this deal:
- Outgoing: Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, 2030 first-round swap, 2026 second-round pick, 2028 second-round pick
- Incoming: Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher
Pascal Siakam is a two-time All-NBA player at power forward and was an All-Star last season. At 29 years old he isn’t quite as young as the rest of the Cavaliers’ core, but he’s still firmly in his prime. He is a good defender, an underrated passer and has averaged over 20 points per game in four straight seasons.
A frontcourt pairing of Evan Mobley and Siakam would have a high defensive floor; perhaps not as much as Mobley and Jarrett Allen did together, but they will still be solid on that end and can even more easily switch assignments. On offense, it would be better if Siakam was a better shooter (32.7 percent for his career) but his passing and ball-handling help to mitigate that as he can attack closeouts.
Adding Siakam would give the Cavs a true third option on offense, a player who can push in transition and attack defenses with the ball in his hands. Siakam is also a proven playoff veteran, playing a crucial role in the 2019 championship team and boasting 53 playoff caps altogether.
It’s not cheap to add a player like Siakam, and the Cavaliers need some level of communication from Siakam that he would be willing to re-sign in Cleveland to pull the trigger. The upside, however, is a more balanced team that is ready to face the best teams in the Eastern Conference. That makes this a trade worth making.