With training camp less than a week away, the Cavaliers remain active in trade talks and appear to be placing their focus on acquiring a small forward or shooting guard, sources told Hoops Wire.
While nothing is imminent and there is no sense desperation on the Cavs’ end, their interest in landing a promising or proven wing player is pretty well known around the NBA.
In short, as one opposing executive told Hoops Wire, the Cavs “may believe they are not yet as good as they hope to be this season.”
Other than confirming the ongoing interest in 76ers guard/forward Ben Simmons, sources did not identify any specific Cleveland targets.
Cavs general manager Koby Altman has already assembled an intriguing young nucleus centered around guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, center Jarrett Allen, incoming forward Lauri Markkanen, small forward Isaac Okoro and rookie center/forward Evan Mobley.
Source: #Cavs looking to make another move before season. “One more wing guy.” Would be via trade. (Still very interested in Ben Simmons.)
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) September 23, 2021
Altman and the Cavs certainly seem just fine with keeping all of those players in place — but are also open to including either Sexton or Okoro in a larger deal, sources said, with Garland being viewed as mostly off-limits.
Sources also identified the expiring contract of recently acquired point guard Ricky Rubio as something rival teams find appealing, indicating Rubio potentially could be moved before the start of the season in a package. And if not before the season, then by the February trade deadline.
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and Altman would like the team to take some steps in the win department and compete for a playoff berth, and Altman and the front office may be feeling some heat because of it.
That said, the Cavs are not feeling as if any move has to be made immediately or even early in the season. There’s a chance they stand pat and see how things develop well into December.
But Altman has a history of shaking things up, dating back to the LeBron James era, and sources stressed he is at least exploring ways to make the Cavs more competitive and relevant again.