While the Cleveland Cavaliers sit fifth in the Eastern Conference, they remain out of the upper echelon of true contenders.
The Cavaliers have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA after both Darius Garland and Evan Mobley went down with long-term injuries in December. As they battle for their postseason advantage, the three other teams within the same realm of the Cavs have made major moves at the trade deadline to upgrade their playoff lethality.
Oppositely, Cleveland has stayed silent thus far in trade season. With the February 8 trade buzzer still roughly two weeks away, the Cavaliers have plenty of time to make the necessary changes. The Cavs have had a great run recently, but they have yet to differentiate themselves from their rivals and still need a trade.
With Donovan Mitchell's looming contract extension, ignoring clear areas for improvement two consecutive seasons could prove to be an embarrassing decision for the Cavaliers in the offseason. The Cavs have confirmed interest in acquiring a 3-and-D wing, but the recent news of Tristan Thompson's 25-game suspension may also put the Cavaliers in the race for another secondary big man.
Not every trade return is made equal, though. The Cavaliers cannot afford to dramatically alter their rotation by giving up on a starting player or a key contributor for marginal growth. These four players could pique Cleveland's interest, but some may not actually improve the team's competitive outlook.