1 NBA Trade Deadline move the Cleveland Cavaliers must make to contend in the East

The Cleveland Cavaliers add talent at the trade deadline to bolster Championship quest.
Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks - Game Four
Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks - Game Four / Elsa/GettyImages

There's one trade that the Cleveland Cavaliers can make at the NBA Trade Deadline to cement their contender status in the Eastern Conference.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are now surprisingly in second place in the Eastern Conference. Winners of 14 out of their last 15 games, the Cavs should look to further cement themselves as one of the best teams in the East heading into the NBA Trade Deadline.

The Cavs are a very top-heavy team. There are bench spots that need to be filled all over this roster. The most glaring holes come at the backup point guard spot as well as the backup center position. The good news for the Cavaliers is that there is an underperforming Eastern Conference team that just might be able to solve both problems. Trade details are below.

The Cleveland Cavaliers find an answer to their backcourt depth issues

Cavaliers contend trade

On the surface, it might be counterintuitive that a not-so-deep Cavaliers team swaps three players for two, but hear me out.

The playoffs are coming up quickly. Teams shorten their benches for the playoffs anyway. The chances that Isaac Okoro, Georges Niang, and Dean Wade see extended minutes in the playoffs are far from a guarantee. Jones and Gafford, however, are a lock to receive minutes in the playoffs. Garland has a shaky injury history, which makes it even more paramount that the Cavs find some insurance behind their star point guard.

Wade is currently listed as the backup center for the Cavs and come playoff time, the mismatches teams will use to exploit his deficiencies might just make him unplayable in playoff minutes. Gafford is a much better option for the Cavs to throw out against opposing bigs.

The Wizards' asking price for Jones is reportedly a first-round pick, as reported by The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski. While this trade does not land the Wizards a first-round pick, it does give them two second-rounders as well as young, defensive-minded wing Isaac Okoro. He acts as a first-round pick for value sake in this trade.

The Cavs owe the Wizards a call. As the deadline nears, selling teams may be more apt to lower their asking price if it means getting a deal done. For the Cavs, this trade is a no-brainer. This team already isn't the deepest, so sacrificing three fringe role players for two legitimate role players is an easy decision. This team can't rely on Sam Merrill, Craig Porter, and Damian Jones for playoff minutes.

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Their recent play suggests they're going to be a competitive team this year. They should do everything in their power to capitalize on that opportunity immediately. Tyus Jones and Daniel Gafford give this team a very solid 1-8 rotation.