Constructing the perfect Cleveland Cavaliers trade deadline in 2024

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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January is drawing to a close, which is roughly the midpoint of the NBA season and the height of NBA trade season. The NBA Trade Deadline is just 10 days away, with teams wheeling and dealing right up to the 3:00 PM ET deadline on Thursday, February 8th. The Cleveland Cavaliers are historically quite active at the deadline, and this year looks to be no exception.

While in most seasons the activity tends to take place in the final few days before the deadline, this season a number of big trades have already happened. Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby and Terry Rozier have already changed teams, and the rumors and whispers have continued to swirl around all 30 teams as the deadline approaches.

The Cavaliers came into the season with their sights set on contention, but a slow start and multiple key injuries looked ready to turn the Cavs into sellers instead. Then the team ripped off a 15-4 record over the past six weeks to not only right the ship but put them in line to secure a high playoff seed. The Cavaliers are buyers once more heading into the deadline.

Crafting the perfect Trade Deadline

What would a perfect Trade Deadline for the Cleveland Cavaliers look like? It wouldn't involve trading bench players for an All-Star; we're talking about realistic trades. We're also not contemplating some sort of massive 10-team impossibility where the Cavs flip the entire roster over for Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid.

What is a path forward that the Cavaliers could realistically take with the assets available to them to improve the team and set them up for increased success in the playoffs? This isn't a list of trades for the team to make, but rather principles for them to take into negotiations.

Let's dig into the perfect plan for the Cavs to win the trade deadline and prepare for a deep playoff run.