Brian Windhorst thinks Cavs and Suns will be targeting a lot of the same free agents next couple years

3 Min Read
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers will be looking to the NBA free agent market and could be facing competition for players from the Phoenix Suns in particular this year and into the future.

The Cavaliers and Suns find themselves in similar situations, looking to replenish their rosters after giving up assets to trade for superstar players. Cleveland acquired Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz this season, and the Suns got Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets as part of a four-team deal during the season.

A 3-and-D wing could be at the top of the Cavaliers’ wish list, especially after their shooting failed them in a five-game playoff loss to the New York Knicks. The Suns also could be looking for similar players after they were eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in a six-game, second-round series.

The Cavaliers have a lot to build on this offseason after reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2018. Despite a very disappointing first-round loss to the Knicks, Cleveland can point to 51 wins in the regular season and a second-place finish in the Central Division as bright spots.

The foundation is strong with Mitchell showing he is the kind of player the Cavaliers can build a franchise around and Darius Garland emerging as an excellent sidekick. Mitchell set a career-high by averaging 28.3 points per game this season, and Garland averaged more than 21 points per game for a second-straight season.

Big men Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen provided scoring and defense and are under contract through next season. The Cavaliers also are reportedly looking to retain Cedi Osman and Lamar Stevens.

The Suns could be a formidable offseason force under owner Mat Ishiba, who purchased them and the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA for $4 billion.

The Cavaliers traded key players Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton as part of the deal to acquire Mitchell. The Suns parted with useful Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson as pieces in the four-team trade that landed Durant. In addition, Cleveland and Phoenix each dealt multiple first-round picks in the NBA draft.

Share This Article
Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. One of his favorite sports memories is the Cavaliers-Nets playoff series from 1993.