What Should the Cavs Do Without Collin Sexton?
Losing Collin Sexton was supposed to derail the Cavs campaign. But No. 3 pick Evan Mobley did not get that memo, as he and Jarrett Allen have been doing incredible things on the floor. The team has continued to stay afloat and looks like they could push for a playoff spot as early as this season.
As he is not expected back until 2022-23, it’s time to take a look at some of the solutions to try and fill the void he leaves behind.
Okoro and Rubio
Isaac Okoro was projected to be the Cavs' sixth man this year, with Lauri Markkanen replacing him in the starting unit. Collin’s early injury actually forced the team to have to slide Isaac into the first five, allowing the team to have their best perimeter defender out there from the get-go.
He has started to play with more confidence, showing flashes of the guy he was at times last year. And behind him, they can use Ricky Rubio alongside of Darius Garland. He has proven that he can be a scorer, like when he added 37 against the Knicks.
And on the other days, Rubio is a fantastic passer who can still do enough with his movement to find shots for his team and himself. These two have been more than good enough. But the question is about sustainability.
There isn’t much depth beyond them. And can they both keep it up? If not, it takes us to option two.
Scour the Trade Market
Guys who signed last summer will be eligible to be traded on December 15th. That is just two weeks away, and the team could try and consider moving Kevin Love if they find the right offer. He and Denzel Valentine might be the only guys who they’d be able to ship off.
Now, these chances are not great. Kevin Love has offered a lot of value this year and has helped the team become a winner. His numbers have not been impressive, but the effort and the role have gone hand-in-hand. He has been somebody the team has finally been able to lean on again, now that he comes off the bench.
Love has another $30 million on his deal for next year, so teams would be trading for roughly $45 million. Could they ship off equal value? Making a trade with the Rockets for John Wall would not make a lot of sense, though Wall would provide value on the defensive end.
Don’t expect the Cavs to go this route.
Wait Until the Trade Deadline/Buyout Market
There is a good chance Cleveland leans toward option one with Rubio and Okoro and does nothing for a while. There is not much that they can trade, and so taking a patient approach is probably the most likely scenario.
When the buyout market starts, bubble teams start to pick guys up. Cleveland has not been in a position to land a player like that in several years, but they may well be back into it.
As far as the trade deadline goes, perhaps they can move wing players around, though it is not a guarantee that they would unload anybody. Waiting these next few months will let them see what they have in the team they currently possess, though.
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