The best trade prospect from every Eastern Conference team for Cavaliers

Jonathan Isaac, Orlando Magic. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Jonathan Isaac, Orlando Magic. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards and Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images /

Washington Wizards Trade Target: Kyle Kuzma, PF

If the Cleveland Cavaliers want to place an all-around scorer in the starting frontcourt, Kyle Kuzma of the Washington Wizards undoubtedly fulfills that need.

Kuzma performed incredibly for the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2020 NBA Finals campaign, showcasing his fearless scoring mindset and solid defense. Kuzma is not a perfect solution for the Cavaliers, given his recent inefficient scoring output since joining the Wizards. Where he does impact Cleveland, though, is his relentlessness and desire to win.

Acquiring Kuzma’s $25.5 million salary requires a major trade, most likely involving Jarrett Allen and/or Caris LeVert. If the Cavaliers are ready for a blockbuster change, then Kuzma would be a solid move, but not the best.

Charlotte Hornets Trade Target: P.J. Washington, PF

Another productive but imperfect prospect, Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington was a late free agency option this summer, as the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly investigated a sign-and-trade for the young forward.

Though it never came to fruition, Washington would be an ideal target with numerous strengths that could make an impact in the Cavaliers’ system. Washington’s career 36.4 percent 3-point shooting would be another long-range threat for Cleveland. In the end, Washington signed a new three-year, $46.5 contract to return to the Hornets.

Should the Cavaliers explore the trade market this year, their eyes could easily shift back toward Washington. His contract is not exorbitant, but Cleveland would still need to include their own hefty contracts in order to acquire Washington. Trading for him would not absolutely require Allen to end his Cleveland tenure, but he could be viewed as a long-term solution in the frontcourt if Mobley moves to the center spot this season or next.

Miami Heat Trade Target: Caleb Martin, SF/PF

Since Max Strus joined the Cleveland Cavaliers, his recent Finals experience has provided Cleveland with more leadership and winning culture. Similarly, bringing another Miami Heat player in two-way forward Caleb Martin is a worthwhile option to explore.

A few years ago, Martin’s career seemed to be nearing a quick end, struggling to find a consistent role anywhere in the NBA. The Miami Heat gave him a chance, and he made the most of it. Martin is certain to be a productive member on a contending team for plenty of seasons to come.

Martin would be another solid 3-and-D option for the Cavaliers as a small forward or small ball power forward, able to guard a myriad of positions without much difficulty. Additionally, Martin’s preexisting chemistry with Strus has an instant connection in the culture and would not need time to fit with the roster.

Orlando Magic Trade Target: Jonathan Isaac, PF

Perhaps the most controversial trade prospect given his lengthy injury history, Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic still is worth Cleveland’s consideration.

Since recovering from a flurry of serious knee injuries, Isaac has begun this regular season healthy and looking just as good as he did before his three injury-ridden seasons. He has reentered the Magic rotation in a limited role, both to safeguard from another drastic injury and also due to Orlando’s crowded roster of young prospects.

As the Magic push their rebuild forward, Isaac might become the odd man out.

Atlanta Hawks Trade Target: Saddiq Bey, SF

Last season, the Atlanta Hawks agreed on a trade that sent five second-round draft picks to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Saddiq Bey and Bruno Fernando.

In the last 25 games of last season, Bey averaged 11.6 points on a solid 47 percent shooting from the field. Throughout the start of this season, Bey has played roughly 28 minutes per game both in the starting lineup and off the bench.

For the Cleveland Cavaliers, acquiring Bey would force their hand to reorganize their wing rotation of Strus, Okoro and LeVert. Without moving on from one of those players, Cleveland’s wing depth would grow repetitive. If the Cavaliers believe Bey’s skillset as a taller wing with solid scoring and rebounding fits their system better than their current players, then he would be a solid prospect for a trade deadline acquisition.

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The Eastern Conference is loaded with talented options for the Cavaliers to improve their roster. Looking into the Western Conference next, the other side of the NBA might possess the best possible future Cavaliers if they are ready to buy in on this core.