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3 Trade Options for Cavs at Small Forward


Photo: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports


The Cleveland Cavaliers have a Top 10 option at four of the five positions in their starting lineup, but the same could not be said for the small forward position, which is a glaring hole Cavs President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman will need to fill either before or at the NBA Trade Deadline if the Cavs want to get to where they have the potential to be. At the time of this writing, the Wine and Golders are staying steady at third in the Eastern Conference standings with a 21-11 record.


The Cavs have gotten next to nothing from the small forward position 31 games into the season. Isaac Okoro -- the former No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft out of Auburn -- has always struggled offensively with his shot, but this season he's given no help to the Cavs offensively. He’s shooting 41% from the field, and that doesn’t put fear in a defense when they don't believe he can knock down jump shots consistently.


Last season, Cleveland worked their phone magic at the deadline and ending up striking a deal for Caris LeVert, who has dealt with injuries and trying to get acclimated to his new team. He’s had a better season this year despite his role constantly changing due to injuries on the roster, but LeVert is essentially the opposite of Okoro. LeVert is giving the Cavaliers a punch in the scoring column, but he's struggling defensively.


What’s needed to complete this roster is a "3 and D" type player that can not only score the rock, but contribute nightly on the offensive end to take the pressure off of the Cavs top players. Here are three options on the open market for the front office to consider:


Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings

Contract: 1 yr, $18.3 million


Harrison Barnes has been on a roller coaster in his career but found his footing with the Kings. He’s top-notch role player that has reworked his shot to become a more knockdown shooter at 39 percent and is a rugged defender at 6’8 The former North Carolina Tar Heel being 6’8 benefits the Cavs because he can switch with Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen if need be. Coming out of college, Barnes was expected to be a superstar but he’s shown he’s more comfortable playing alongside stars, and the pressure would be off of him mightily in Cleveland compared to Sacramento.


Dillion Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies

Contract: 1 yr, $11.4 million


Dillon Brooks is set to hit the open market at the end of the 2022-2023 season, and the Grizzlies could look to move on from him if they're not confident they can bring him back. LeVert and a few second-round picks could be that right return. LeVert gives Memphis scoring balance, and Cleveland gets a high energy, in your face defender that also adds more veteran leadership.


Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets

Contract: 2 yrs, $19.25 million per season


Joe Harris could be the odd man out in Brooklyn, as they seem to have rightened the ship with a primary lineup that starts Nic Claxton, Ben Simmons and Kevin Durant in the frontcourt, and the Nets might use his contract to upgrade the position. Harris’ specialty is three-point shooting. He is a career 44% shooter from behind the arch, and he could be an underrated sneaky get if available at the deadline.


With LeVert on an expiring contract, he could be involved in a deal that would make it a homecoming for both players, as LeVert's career got its start in Brooklyn and Harris started his NBA career in Cleveland.




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