3 key moves the Cleveland Cavaliers need to make at the NBA Trade Deadline

The Cleveland Cavaliers are climbing the Eastern Conference standings but they mat need a trade or two to power a deep playoff run.

Jan 22, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) points against
Jan 22, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) points against / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Alec Burks

If the Cavs want to fix their perimeter shooting problem, Alec Burks might be the cheapest option. Burks only makes $10.5 million, so matching his contract would be easy. According to Fedor, the Cavaliers would consider moving Isaac Okoro if the right deal was offered. Okoro will be a restricted free agent next summer and his $8.9 million contract lines up relatively nicely with Burks'.

Besides being a reliable three-point shooter, Burks could give Cleveland's bench a much-needed boost in scoring. Cleveland could rely on him as a second or third option while Garland gets healthy. It remains to be seen if Detroit is interested in this deal. However, if Cleveland is looking for offense (especially beyond the perimeter) Burks is worth consideration. Okoro averages only 4.7 field-goal attempts per game. Burks, on the other hand, averages 9.6 attempts and his shotmaking has been Detroit's only bright spot this season. 

1. P.J. Washington

Prior to this season, the Cavaliers showed interest in Charlotte Hornet's P.J. Washington. However, at the time, Charlotte's asking price for Washington was too high. As a result, Washington signed a three-year, $46.5 million contract with Charlotte this August. Case closed, right? Wrong. Given Charlotte's lackluster record and their recent dealing of Terry Rozier to the Miami Heat, it appears the Hornets might be on the verge of a fire sale. That being said, now might be the perfect time for the Cavs to pick up the phone and see how their old friend P.J. is holding up in Charlotte.

Based on his recent performance, the Hornets should make room for 21-year-old Brandon Miller to grow. During his past few games, Miller has averaged 24.6 points, 2.3 assists, and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc. Miller already gets the bulk of the minutes anyway, as Washington averages two minutes less than the rookie. With that said, this wouldn't be a complete retooling for either team.

The Hornets have seven forwards on their roster, including P.J. Washington. The Cavaliers, on the other hand, only have five forwards. With so few minutes available at the forward position, the Hornets should concentrate on developing their young players, such as Brandon Miller. Washington is still only 25-years-old and exactly the type of two-way player Cleveland needs. If the Hornets want to build for the future and the Cavaliers are looking to get competitive now, this is a win-win move to consider. 

With the February 8 trade deadline fast approaching, teams still have some time to reach an agreement. Though the clock sure is ticking.

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