The roster of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks drastically different than it did just a year ago, which was expected for the rebuilding franchise.
A new report indicates that such upheaval will continue, with the Cavaliers likely to trade away at least one of five players whose contracts are ending this season.
Joe Vardon of The Athletic looked at the potential makeup of the Cavs’ 2019-20 roster, with the team’s starting roster possibly being in a continual state of flux. That’s because of the expiring contracts of Jordan Clarkson, Matthew Dellavedova, John Henson, Brandon Knight and Tristan Thompson.
“The Cavs have no fewer than five players entering the final years of their contracts (Thompson, Clarkson, Delly, Henson and Knight),” wrote Vardon. “One or more will be traded at some point during the season. Also, this team was among the top three in the NBA in man games lost to injury last year, in part because of the organization’s desire to pick near the top of the draft. So if things go south, a similar plan might follow, which would mean an amoeba-like starting five and rotation.”
All of the five are veterans who could conceivably help a playoff contender, with the Cavaliers hoping to pick up either young players or future assets like draft picks in return. While Thompson has the most tenure with the team, his burdensome contract, recent slew of injuries and limited production make him a solid possibility to be moved.
Yet, Clarkson could also be dealt if he and the Cavaliers can’t work out a contract extension. The trio of Dellavedova, Henson and Knight all were traded to the Cavaliers last season, with Henson and Knight not seen as long-term solutions for the Cavaliers. In the case of Dellavedova, his popularity with fans is countered by his hefty contract.
Regardless of whether the above group stays or not, the Cavaliers are definitely getting younger. Last year’s top pick, Collin Sexton, has been joined by the year’s three first-round selections, all of whom will see time in the backcourt. The growing pains they experience don’t hold out a lot of hope for this season, but can serve as building blocks for the future.