Target No. 2: Jalen McDaniels
The Cleveland Cavaliers built the best defense in the NBA last season by pairing two of the league's best rim protectors in Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, then deploying Isaac Okoro significant minutes as a point-of-attack defender on the perimeter. Okoro has missed much of this season due to injury, but even when he has been available he is playing a diminished role due to his offensive limitations.
The Cavs have missed that defensive impact on the perimeter, and other than Dean Wade their options are generally more slanted to offense than defense. It would make sense if they targeted a wing player who can give head coach J.B. Bickerstaff another option to deploy on opposing scorers.
Trading for proven 3-and-D wings is expensive, as teams now tend to understand the value of such players and demand the moon in trades; the Brooklyn Nets are reportedly asking for two first-round picks for Dorian Finney-Smith, for example. That means buying low on a player who perhaps has the "D" but is struggling with the "3" but has upside to improve.
That's why Jalen McDaniels is an intriguing target for the Cavaliers. The Toronto Raptors signed McDaniels this past summer to fill out their bench but could look to move him as part of a larger sell-off if they finally commit to a rebuild. McDaniels is a long defender who at 6'9" can defend multiple positions and has a penchant for getting steals and starting fast breaks.
The offense is the reason McDaniels may be available at a discount, as he is shooting just 18.2 percent from 3-point range this season. His career mark is 33.8 percent, however, and he is a 78.5 percent foul shooter, suggesting that there is untapped potential in his shot as well. Adding McDaniels would give them another body for depth and provide a buy-low opportunity that he could put things together and earn a spot in the rotation moving forward.