The Cleveland Cavaliers have had an up-and-down start to the season. Injuries to multiple key players have held them back from reaching their full potential; at the same time, it has allowed the Cavaliers to both test out players in new roles and see how they would play without a certain rotation player in the lineup.
While earning that knowledge through losses is not ideal, it's still valuable information that the Cavs can use moving forward. Which players on the team are crucial to Cleveland's success? Which players are less valuable than thought, or have skillsets that can be replaced by others on the roster?
Armed with as many of those answers as possible, the Cavaliers can then wade into the trade market and make informed offers to upgrade the roster without simultaneously hamstringing it in another area. Let's look at five Cavaliers and whether they are expendable or too valuable to trade.
No. 5: Isaac Okoro is expendable
Isaac Okoro has played 216 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers since he was drafted fifth overall in the 2020 NBA Draft. 179 of those games were starts. In total he has played 5,979 minutes in three-plus seasons, the second-most on the team in that span (behind only Darius Garland). He feels like an essential part of this team.
At the same time, his offensive skillset has failed to develop in a meaningful way, to the point that Cleveland had to aggressively target shooting this summer because Okoro was such a playoff liability. He is a truly special point-of-attack defender, but the defensive back line that Cleveland has allows them to support less-aggressive defenders on the perimeter.
Okoro has missed nine-straight games and the Cavaliers have largely been able to replace him in the rotation through a combination of Dean Wade and Craig Porter Jr. Having him available would be a positive, without a doubt, but if the Cavaliers need to include him in a trade they have proven they have solutions to fill his place.