Crafting the perfect offseason moves for Cleveland Cavaliers this summer

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors
Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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Explore the trade market for Caris LeVert

Since joining the Cavaliers in 2022, Columbus native Caris LeVert has given everything he can to the team and has grown as both a playmaker and defender. Last season, LeVert's role constantly fluctuated between the starting lineup and the bench. As the team's sixth man this year, LeVert has shined and given the Cavs a necessary spark in plenty of close games. Unfortunately, LeVert may be Cleveland's only valuable trade piece to make real improvements for the next campaign.

Given Cleveland's underwhelming draft asset available for trade, the Cavs will have to part ways with rotational players to make any upgrades. LeVert's $16.6 million expiring contract next season is going to be the organization's most valuable trade piece. Before the trade deadline, the Cavaliers were linked to various 3-and-D veteran wings, but the price to bring them to the Land would have made marginal improvements at best. In the offseason, there is always vastly more flexibility in negotiations.

While the Cavs might view LeVert as their best trade piece for another proven forward, their answer might already be on the roster waiting for a new contract.

Keep Isaac Okoro and Sam Merrill in Cleveland

In last year's playoff embarrassment, Isaac Okoro's inability to affect the game on offense allowed the New York Knicks to suffocate Cleveland's starring backcourt and force contested shots every possession. This season, Okoro has taken a step forward as a shooter from the corner and has continued his consistency as a lockdown point-of-attack defender. While his volume from three-point range is still relatively low, Max Strus and Sam Merrill give the Cavs force defenses to stay honest and open up more opportunities for Okoro.

The young forward has to keep up his impact going into the playoffs, but he has done more than enough to earn his next contract after failing to come to terms on an extension before this season opened. Alongside Okoro's offensive evolution, his defense is only getting better. If the Cavaliers are searching for a knockdown shooter who defends at the highest level, the former Auburn wing might be exactly who they need.

As for Sam Merrill, the Cavaliers might have found the best surprise of the Association in a player who had struggled to stay in the NBA in the past. Cleveland's secret weapon is the team's best volume shooter, hitting 44.2 percent of his 5.3 three-point attempts per game. On a surprisingly small $1.9 million contract this season, Merrill is still under contract for a non-guaranteed $2.1 million next year, and the Cavaliers would do well to ensure Merrill is in Cleveland after this summer.