Cavs Will Turn to Trades and Draft to Get Back on Winning Track
The Cavaliers will try to get better mostly by way of two means:
2. The draft.
Being bad now is understandable, but general manager Koby Altman, coach John Beilein and the rest don't want it to last forever.
At some point, the Cavs (5-15) want to be good again. Everyone knows that losing season after thankless losing season can drain the life out of a franchise. (New York Knicks, anyone?)
This isn't to say the Cavs will ignore free agency. But the best free agents typically come when you are winning again. Otherwise, you're often spending big money on so-so players.
So free agency isn’t likely to be a major plan for the Cavs until things get good again.
Like all teams, the Cavs have already started planning for the draft. They are scouting college teams and international clubs. They have extensively scouted potential No. 1 overall pick and basketball celebrity LaMelo Ball, currently playing in Australia.
No one knows where the Cavs will finish in the lottery. They haven't started to think that far ahead. Interestingly, they again could be battling Golden State for the right to be called No. 1. Only this time people will be talking about the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
On the trade front, the Cavs have not taken part in any serious discussions. That is expected to change as the trade deadline nears in February. Opposing teams are likely to make serious runs at Tristan Thompson and Jordan Clarkson, both players with expiring contracts. Toronto is said to have a high interest in Thompson, Philadelphia supposedly among those with interest in Clarkson.
The Cavs are also very open to re-signing both players in free agency. So there's really no telling yet who may go or who may stay.
Brandon Knight, Matthew Dellavedova and John Henson also have expiring contracts. Dellavedova and especially Knight are drawing interest. Knight's playing time has dwindled and he supposedly would welcome a trade.
Needless to say, Kevin Love will also be brought up in trade rumors, whether the Cavs want him to or not. Right now, he is signed for several more seasons and as far as the Cavs are concerned, he is here to stay.
But trade talks will come. This roster is likely to look different after the trade deadline. Then will come the draft. Altman would love to get another pick. Who wouldn’t? Last time, he ended up with three first-rounders (Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr., Dylan Windler).
This is a rebuilding season, so the Cavs are far from panicked and don't intend to make any sudden, desperate moves. They will take their time, see how things unfold and try to develop players and build a strong culture.
What they don't want to do, though, is get caught in the cycle of rebuilding for all eternity.