The Cavaliers are not a finished product, and we all know president of basketball operations Koby Altman is not afraid to make a splash. He’s done so just about every year — including last summer’s Donovan Mitchell deal with the Jazz.
Does Altman have something else up his sleeve?
Well, per several reports and Hoops Wire sources, the answer may be yes, and it may involve point guard Darius Garland. That doesn’t mean the Cavs are dying to deal Garland. It doesn’t mean they are shopping him around. But it does sound as if they’re open to it when other teams inquire.
Some have said not to be surprised if the Cavs move Garland, a client of Cleveland native Rich Paul, perhaps the NBA’s most powerful agent.
Like most of the Cavs, Garland didn’t play very well in the playoffs. He did have a fantastic night in Game 2 — but that was about it. That said, Garland was a playoff rookie. So were Evan Mobley, Isaac Okoro, and a few others. The point being that the playoffs are a different game and young players tend to struggle.
It sounds outlandish for the Cavs to explore Garland trades, but he would undoubtedly garner a nice return. He’s been to the All-Star Game once and he very well could be there again. He has that type of potential.
But some openly wonder how far the Cavs can go with two 6-foot-1 guards as the starters. As one rival GM told Hoops Wire, the backcourt “has the same problem it had with Collin Sexton,” who’s also 6-1.
Garland, 23, averaged 21.6 points, 7.8 assists and shot 46 percent from the field. That included a career-high 41 percent on 3-pointers. His numbers were basically in line with his All-Star season of the year before, despite the addition of a dynamic backcourt partner in Mitchell, which for all its plusses, can impact the games of others. That didn’t happen statistically with Garland.
On the downside, he committed too many turnovers (2.9 a game), some coming during the game’s crucial moments. He said he knows that and that he intends to clean it up. Still, the Cavs finished 51-31 with a fairly young core. For the record, the Cavs were 11-2 last season in the games Garland missed.
Would the Cavs really move Garland?
This is the NBA’s silly season, when just about anything could happen. This is also Altman, who isn’t afraid to shake things up. Cleveland is looking for some size at the wing positions, preferably someone who can really shoot. It seems doubtful they would use Garland to find it — but from the sounds of things, it’s suddenly not impossible.