The weaknesses on this Cleveland Cavaliers roster are few and far between. The well-balanced squad features a backcourt of Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell that feeds its dominant big men Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen excellent looks.
But that’s just four names; if there was one spot to nit-pick, it would be the wing. As it stands, no one on the Cavs has cemented themselves as the team’s night-to-night starter. Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman, and Dean Wade all share the load, with none standing out in a massive way on either end of the floor.
With that in mind, Cleveland is on the hunt for an upgrade on the wing. According to Chris Fedor of cleveland.com, Tim Hardaway, Jr. is one to keep an eye out for as we get closer to the trade deadline.
“The name that I would watch is Tim Hardaway, Jr. of the Dallas Mavericks,” Fedor noted on the Wine and Gold podcast. “Elite, elite outside shooter that can play the two and the three. Defends well enough and Dallas is a team that, even though they’re in the playoff mix right now and top six in the Western Conference, Hardaway, Jr.’s salary structure is one that is problematic for Dallas moving forward and I think they would be willing to move off of his salary and get somebody who brings…a different element to Dallas.”
Hardaway, Jr., who is in the second year of a four-year, $75 million pact with the Mavericks, is hardly the “short-term” rental that ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported the Cavs are searching for.
But Hardaway, Jr. is a strong scorer who could do well to boost Cleveland’s lagging three-point rate. After a slow start back from injury, Hardaway is making over 38% of his threes this season.
Could Cavs Target OG Anunoby?
As the hunt for options on the wing intensifies, Tommy Wild of si.com suggested the Cavs target OG Anunoby of the Toronto Raptors.
“This would be a dream scenario, but it’s hard not to imagine how well OG Anunoby would fit on the Cavs. He’s exactly what a team looking for in a “3 and D” player while also being able to create his own shot,” Wild wrote last week.
Wild conceded that trading for Anunoby would require an emptying of the coffers for Cleveland, but that it “would all be worth it for a Cavs team that is ready to win now.”
It’s highly unlikely that the Cavaliers could even come in Toronto’s vicinity in terms of asking price, given that the team has traded away all of its draft capital and lacks high-upside young players (outside of the four core players).
Cavaliers In on Bojan Bogdanovic
The same goes for Detroit Pistons wing Bojan Bogdanovic, who is likely fetching a high price at the trade deadline, per Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports. Fischer noted the Cavs are interested in Bogdanovic, but likely lack the assets to pull off a deal.
“Are any of them the talented young player Detroit is partly searching for to offload Bojan Bogdanovic? The Cavaliers are indeed a Bogdanovic suitor, sources said, but it will be rather difficult, and perhaps impossible, for Cleveland to reach Detroit’s lofty asking price for the veteran sharpshooter,” Fischer wrote.
“At this juncture, the Pistons are seeking at least one first-rounder and either a young player with upside or additional draft capital, sources said, plus Cleveland has company in Dallas, Phoenix and the Lakers, among other teams in pursuit of Bogdanovic.”
A lack of assets shouldn’t deter Cleveland from continuing to search for a solid contributor, especially if the team doesn’t feel confident in the revolving door of talent it has now.