Report: Cavs still seeking ‘significant upgrade’ in frontcourt

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers are still looking for a “significant upgrade” in the frontcourt this offseason, according to Hoops Wire’s Sam Amico.

“Per Hoops Wire sources, Cleveland is still seeking a significant upgrade when it comes to frontcourt help off the bench,” Amico wrote. “The Cavs don’t have more than the mid-level exception to dangle, but believe they can find help anyway.”

The Cavs were interested in Minnesota Timberwolves big man Naz Reid, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Jake Fischer. However, Reid returned to Minnesota on a new three-year deal prior to hitting free agency.

“Another team that wanted to be in the mix for Reid was [Jarrett] Allen’s Cavaliers, sources said,” Fischer wrote. “Cleveland would have needed a sign-and-trade avenue to acquire the talented big man.”

With Reid out of the picture, the Cavs will likely lean on their mid-level exception to add depth behind Allen and Evan Mobley in the frontcourt.

In the playoffs in the 2022-23 season, Allen and Mobley were the only two true bigs to see significant playing time for the Cavs.

Dean Wade (two games) and Robin Lopez (two games) played sparingly against the New York Knicks while Cleveland mainly rotated players on the wing. Cedi Osman, Isaac Okoro, Danny Green, Lamar Stevens and Caris LeVert saw the majority of the time at those wing spots.

Clearly, the Cavs feel like they need another big that is able to give Allen or Mobley a break without a significant drop-off in production. The team may regret finalizing a buyout with forward Kevin Love during the 2022-23 season, as he joined the Miami Heat and helped the team make the NBA Finals.

According to Amico, the team could use Okoro or Osman in the trade market to net a player that will help it more next season.

“A low-level trade is something the Cavs might consider too — using the likes of wings Cedi Osman and Isaac Okoro as possible bait,” Amico wrote.

It’s going to be tough for the Cavs to make major upgrades given their cap situation, but it’s not impossible. The team is also hoping that it has found a diamond in the rough in second-round pick Emoni Bates.

Cleveland’s targets to back up Mobley and Allen should be more clear once free agency opens. The team is likely going to be looking at a player that is willing to take a reduced salary or role to contend.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.