2. Gordon Hayward brings a veteran presence to Cleveland
CLEEEEVELAND…THIS [mock trade] IS FOR YOU! It’s been seven years since LeBron delivered on his promise and made Cleveland a city of champions. The team has been completely revamped since then, but the new iteration of the Cavaliers roster contains an abundance of young talent and upside.
Cleveland skipped ahead in the rebuild process by trading for superstar Donovan Mitchell last September, and they showed plenty of improvement throughout the year. However, their promising regular season was quickly forgotten during a first-round throttling at the hands of the New York Knicks.
There were various reasons for their downfall, but two of the most prominent were a lack of veteran leadership and finding a trustworthy wing to round out their starting five. Gordon Hayward fills both voids, and his expiring contract wouldn’t be an extensive commitment for the franchise.
Hayward averaged over four assists a season ago and could alleviate some of the playmaking responsibility when Mitchell or Darius Garland are on the bench. He also possesses the size and shooting ability to play stretches at power forward, which will be critical if Evan Mobley can’t develop a respectable outside shot.
Cleveland could accelerate their timeline even further by acquiring a proven veteran in Gordon Hayward to bolster their roster. At this stage of his career, Hayward is much better suited in a complementary role with a playoff team such as the Cavaliers and could be the missing piece they need to make a deep playoff run.