The Cavs finished the 2021-2022 campaign with an impressive record of 44 wins and 38 losses. Now for most teams that may not be “impressive” for say, a feat many analysts and pundits around the league considered unlikely, as the Cavs were picked to finish in the bottom five of the league. For most of the season the Cavs were hanging around in the four to six range in the Eastern Conference Yet, just like the 2015 playoffs when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were hurt, injuries killed the team.
This team is very young. Darius Garland is 22 and is basically like a sophomore from his campaign in the 2020-2021 season being cut short due to injury. Collin Sexton only played 11 games due to a torn ACL; He is only 23-years-old. Evan Mobley is only 20-years old and got snubbed of the Rookie of the Year award in my opinion. Jarrett Allen is 24-years old and was an All-Star for the Cavs this past season. Outside of 33-year old Kevin Love, Caris LeVert is looked at as one of the veterans on the team at only 27-years old. Rest assured that the team is in very good hands for the future!
Looking at the offseason, let’s start with free agency and any trade possibilities. The Cavs have a young core and a strong one but very injury prone. I believe the Cavs can trade their first-round draft pick this year, Sexton and Cedi Osman for Klay Thompson and a second-round pick. I would love this trade. I am a huge fan of Thompson and believe that his playoff experience and winning big games at a high level will put Cleveland over that hump. In the regular season, Thompson averaged 20.4 points per game in just 32 games. He shot just over 90% from the charity stripe and shot just about 40% from deep. I believe the Warriors would do this trade because Jordan Poole has blossomed into a star for them, and they want to extend him. They can’t do that while having Thompson’s contract. This would also give the Warriors another chance to get a highly talented prospect in this year’s draft and receive an established potential future All-Star guard to be the sixth man in their rotation. What the Cavs will receive with this trade is a second-round pick and an amazing ball player. Arguably a Top 10 shooter of all time, Thompson doesn’t turn the ball over, plays well without the ball in his hand and plays solid defense.
Another trade possibility would be Donovan Mitchell from the Jazz in exchange for Sexton, Osman & 1st round pick. In my eyes, the Jazz are going to be shopping both Rudy Gobert and Mitchell because they’re at a stalemate of moving past the conference semifinals with both of them. I’m not a huge fan of Mitchell, but he adds more value to the team than Sexton and Osman in my opinion. I think this is a fair trade and will elevate both teams. The Cavs gaining Mitchell will give Garland another playmaker on the floor who is an aggressive player. Also, it will give the Cavs another player who is very talented and isn’t afraid of the big moments, like the playoffs.
Taking a deeper look into the draft. Let's say the Cavs stick with their pick or complete the Mitchell trade. I have three guys that come to mind I want Cleveland to roll with: Ochai Abajai from Kansas, A.J. Griffin from Duke, or Notre Dame product Blake Wesley. I hope Abajai falls because he is a Top 8 player in this year’s draft the way I see it. Abajai averaged 18.8 points per game while leading the Jayhawks to a National Championship over UNC. I believe very much this is a shoe-in pick for the Cavs. There are not many other players that would fit what the Cavs do, but Abajai does.
At the end of the day, the Cavs are in good hands and have drafted well. We have a very young core to build around and a bright future that will hopefully hold more postseason appearances and a chance to play for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.