76ers sharpshooter named 'dream' free agency target for Cleveland Cavaliers

Bleacher Reports names Buddy Hield as dream Cavaliers free agent target.
Philadelphia 76ers v Cleveland Cavaliers
Philadelphia 76ers v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Once again, three-point shooting inconsistencies cost the Cleveland Cavaliers to suffer an early playoff exit, making their primary target in free agency clear. Add more shooters on the wing.

The free agent pool this summer is not overloaded with star talent, and the Cavaliers do not have the financial availability to land one of the few top names. Cleveland's options will be decided by how the team manages Isaac Okoro's $11.8 million cap hold and his restricted free agency. Additionally, other deals by the Cavs may open up more cap space to give them the full $12.9 million Mid-Level Exception. Otherwise, they will have only $5.2 million to offer free agents this summer other than their own or veteran minimum contracts.

Cleveland's free agent additions might be a footnote in their offseason moves with numerous rumors surrounding their core four. Currently, only Evan Mobley's future with the Cavaliers is certain to continue after this offseason. There is a growing optimism that Donovan Mitchell will sign an extension this summer, and his decision one way or another will have significant ripple effects on the rest of the summer.

Still, the Cavs' postseason exit came at the hands of recurring issues, but one stands out as the most prominent and in need of an immediate fix. The Cavaliers need more shooting at the wing position. While Max Strus offers reliable production, his shooting dips opened up a vulnerability for the Cavs offense. Additionally, Okoro's lacking offensive output in the playoffs resulted in more questions surrounding his future growth as a true 3-and-D threat after a career-best regular season production.

Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report published an article naming the "dream" free agency targets for every NBA team this summer. Unsurprisingly, Cleveland's top target is one of the league's top wing shooters.

B/R names Buddy Hield as Cleveland's best free agency option

The Cavaliers enter free agency with a clear goal in mind to upgrade their wing spot with another veteran presence who can consistency impact winning. With a career 40 percent clip from deep, Philadelphia 76ers wing Buddy Hield may be a perfect solution for the Cavaliers' woes.

The 76ers have more than $60 million in cap space at their disposal if they release cap holds on their free agents. If the Sixers want to retain their wing talent, they might have to choose between Kelly Oubre, Jr. and Hield. With a league-wide reputation as an elite shooter in the Association, the Sixers might be keen on keeping Hield around, but Philly's ambitious offseason possibilities might push Hield out.

Following a trade to the Sixers, Hield's efficiency remained effective, hitting 38.6 percent of his 6.8 three-point attempts per game with both the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers. Hield was also an unsung Ironman, playing in 84 games in the regular season. His consistent availability and steady shot make Hield an ideal candidate for any team searching for a knockdown marksman.

While Hield would undoubtedly improve Cleveland's presence from range, adding him to the mix as their only offseason change would be a mistake. At 6-foot 4-inches tall, Hield continues a trend of undersized wings in Cleveland's rotations. Ideally, the Cavs add Hield to the team with more upgrades across the board. The Cavaliers need size at their forward positions, but Hield's elite shooting may outweigh any cons.

Additionally, the Cavaliers would have to cover for Hield's underwhelming defense. While he is not a traffic cone on defense, Hield has never become a leading defender at his position. With Okoro and Strus both ahead of Hield defensively, the Cavs' interest in the Sixers wing may be diminished.

Ideally, the Cleveland Cavaliers can find a two-way wing contributor this offseason in free agency or trade. Every team, especially contenders, is hunting for the same archetype, but the Cavaliers' relative financial flexibility and potential to contend for a title should make them a strong option for any shooter looking for a new franchise that will appreciate and commend their talents.

If Mitchell signs his extension, Cleveland should become a top destination for veteran shooters, as Mitchell's gravity and quick kick outs to the perimeter would create countless open-shot opportunities for the new Cavalier. Unless Cleveland can unlock Hield's defense, he may not fit what the Cavs need.

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