Rumors: NBA insider hints at next big move for Cleveland Cavaliers offseason

Cleveland Cavaliers v Orlando Magic - Game Three
Cleveland Cavaliers v Orlando Magic - Game Three / Rich Storry/GettyImages

The two biggest goals for the Cleveland Cavaliers' offseason have been met - hiring a new head coach and signing Donovan Mitchell to a contract extension.

Now, the Cavaliers will navigate free agency with Evan Mobley's rookie extension looming and Isaac Okoro's restricted free agency questions. Ahead of free agency, the Cavs extended an $11.8 million qualifying offer, but nothing further has developed. Cleveland is nearing the luxury tax threshold, and their path forward with Okoro could put them across that line. With a highly restrictive Collective Bargaining Agreement now in place, the Cavaliers have shown hesitancy to cross the tax line unless it would be a clear upgrade from their current position.

Crossing the luxury tax is only a matter of time with Mobley's extension on the way, but holding off for one more season could help the Cavaliers manage their future under the CBA much easier. A patient offseason approach could benefit the Cavs in the long term while their Eastern Conference rivals throw caution to the wind in an effort to chase the Boston Celtics. Cleveland, though, already has their core intact, instead looking at complementary needs.

With Okoro's restricted free agency as the next domino to fall, NBA insider Bobby Marks hinted at the ultimate end result for the Cavs and Okoro this summer.

Bobby Marks suggests Okoro's Cavaliers tenure is ending

In not-so-subtle fashion, Bobby Marks suggested Okoro's tenure with the Cavs franchise will end this summer via sign-and-trade. Per Marks, the Cavaliers could target a larger wing to bolster their forward depth and offensive versatility in exchange for the young defensive stalwart.

"Cleveland's got Isaac Okoro, who's a restricted free agent. Look at maybe sign-and-trade options for him. Maybe a bigger wing on a... I don't want to give away the beans here."

Bobby Marks

As Marks trailed off, his last comment suggested more to his story than look out for an Okoro sign-and-trade. He followed his statement with a story about Mitchell's extension. Roughly one hour before the news broke, Marks was asked about Mitchell's situation in an interview. He said he knew that Mitchell was about to sign the extension, so he had to sidestep the question. Marks then circled back to Okoro, saying "just keep an eye on Okoro".

The Cavaliers do not have many enticing trade assets at their disposal, making the young wing Okoro one of their most viable trade chips. Though Okoro's offense is shaky at best, his defensive versatility and intensity are far beyond the expectations for young players. A rebuilding team with a longer timeline than the Cavs could give Okoro an opportunity to develop his offense without the pressure to accelerate his growth he faced in Cleveland.

This report from Marks follows a rumor that the Cavaliers have two big wing targets, Cameron Johnson and Dorian Finney-Smith of the Brooklyn Nets. According to Zach Lowe, the Cavs are once again on the hunt for a big 3-and-D veteran wing, adding he is "surprised" one of Johnson and Finney-Smith has not been traded yet.

While there is no confirmed connection between Okoro and the Nets, the possible fit is undeniable. Following a long-awaited Mikal Bridges trade, Brooklyn has finally entered a full rebuild, and Okoro could be a perfect addition to their new young core. Placing the defensive Okoro next to Brooklyn's offensive guard Cam Thomas could be an ideal pairing for their future, building a solid, versatile core under new head coach Jordi Fernandez.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have plenty of offseason left to make a decision on Okoro, but their reported interest in proven wings and Marks' comments on a potential split hint toward that decision coming sooner rather than later.