The Cavs have reportedly had “cursory conversations” with the Jazz about the second-year player. The trade deadline is set for Thursday this week.
“Sources tell cleveland.com the Cavs have had cursory conversations with the Utah Jazz about 27-year-old stretch forward Simone Fontecchio, who fits the team’s spaced-out, 3-point heavy playing style,” wrote Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
“The Cavs and Jazz have made numerous trades, including the [Donovan] Mitchell blockbuster in September 2022, since president of basketball operations Koby Altman has become Cleveland’s primary decision-maker thanks to his close connection with Jazz general manager Justin Zanik. But is Fontecchio an upgrade over Dean Wade, who has admirably played that same role?”
The Cavs aren’t the only team that could be in the mix for Fontecchio.
“Utah’s starting small forward has emerged as a serious trade target for two contending teams, according to multiple league sources: the Phoenix Suns and the Boston Celtics,” wrote Tony Jones of The Athletic.
Fontecchio, who turned 28 in December, is only in his second NBA season after playing internationally for multiple years.
His rookie season with the Jazz left something to be desired, but he’s currently enjoying a solid sophomore season in the NBA. Fontecchio is averaging 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from deep.
At 6-foot-7, he has good size. It’s unclear what type of role he would play for the Cavs, but if Cleveland desired, it could roll with some lineups with Fontecchio at the 3, Evan Mobley at the 4 and Jarrett Allen at the 5, giving the team tons of size in the frontcourt.
The Cavs have looked like one of the most dangerous teams in the NBA lately, and they’re currently the No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference with a 32-16 record. After taking a first-round exit in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, Cleveland is looking to make a statement this season, and lately, the team has done just that.
According to Fedor, the Cavs would likely have to part ways with fourth-year wing Isaac Okoro in order to make any trade of significance. It’s unclear if a deal for Fontecchio would require Okoro to pack his bags. The former lottery pick is having a strong season for Cleveland and has spent his entire career with the organization.
But at this time of year, anything can happen, and only time will tell if the Cavs make a splash before the deadline comes and goes. In the meantime, Cleveland will face the Washington Wizards on the road on Wednesday.