The NBA season has opened, and the Cleveland Cavaliers began their 2023-24 campaign with a road win against the Brooklyn Nets. Cleveland would fall on Friday night to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but they were without Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, and down the stretch, OKC made quite the late push.
While the season has only just started, the NBA trade rumor mill is already in motion. At the end of the offseason, a handful of major trades finally took place after months of rumors and deliberation. Damian Lillard ended his 11-year tenure with the Portland Trail Blazers, joining the Milwaukee Bucks in a blockbuster three-team trade. In the wake of the deal, the Trail Blazers traded Jrue Holiday once again, sending him to the Boston Celtics to build another Eastern powerhouse.
Though the summer ended with headlining trades, a number of NBA stars are yet to find their new home, namely James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers. As every team discovers where they stand amongst the rest of the Association, plenty of rosters will look for a midseason switch up to push their chances of contention forward.
The Cavaliers were not active on the trade market this summer other than their sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat for Max Strus to bolster their wing rotation. Last year, they shocked the world with a trade for Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell, pairing him with rising stars Darius Garland and Evan Mobley. While Cleveland showed substantial improvement last season, the Cavs fell apart quickly in the playoffs to the New York Knicks.
For that reason, the Cavaliers will certainly not be immune to trade rumors this year, as their contender status is still under development after an embarrassing postseason run. Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report offered a trade prediction for every NBA team, and his suggestions for the Cavaliers are unsurprising but complicated.
Bailey’s prediction for the Cavaliers is that they will explore the trade market for both big man Jarrett Allen and star guard Donovan Mitchell. The logic behind trading Allen comes not only from the poor playoff series, but also the growth of Evan Mobley as the future full-time center for the Cavs. Keeping Allen in the starting five hurts Cleveland’s overall floor spacing and prevents Mobley from moving into that position himself. Thus, an Allen trade might need to be in the cards for the Cavaliers this year.