“The Cavaliers have spoken to the Pacers about potentially acquiring Indiana’s No. 26 or No. 29 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, sources told Hoops Wire,” Amico wrote.
“The Pacers own five picks overall and sources have said they do not intend to use all five and bring five rookies to training camp. They are even exploring trading the No. 7 pick, per reports, those conversations do not include Cleveland, sources said.”
The No. 26 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft actually belongs to Cleveland, but the team traded it to Indiana in the deal that brought Caris LeVert to Cleveland in the 2021-22 season.
It makes sense that Cleveland wants to acquire a first-round pick in this draft, as it would allow the team to bring in a cost-controlled rookie that could be under contract for four seasons with the team.
Cleveland is in desperate need of some wing help this offseason with LeVert set to hit free agency. The Cavs struggled to find consistent production on the wing alongside Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland in their playoff series against the New York Knicks.
While Cleveland finished the regular season with the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, the team fell to the Knicks in five games in the first round of the playoffs.
A big reason why was Cleveland’s shooting struggles from Cedi Osman, Isaac Okoro and Danny Green. LeVert was effective at times in the series, but there’s a chance he could end up elsewhere this offseason.
The Cavs have a solid core with Mitchell, Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, but the team is also paying three of those players significant money.
Mobley will be due for a contract extension after his third season, which means the Cavs need to get creative when building the rest of the roster around this core.
Adding a rookie who can contribute on a lower salary would help the Cavs avoid the second luxury tax apron in the future. That is key because teams that clear that apron will have several restrictions, including an inability to use the taxpayer mid-level exception to sign free agents.
It’s unclear what the Cavs would have to give up in order to acquire one of the Indiana’s picks.