Byron Scott opened his comments on Kyrie Irving’s first practice yesterday by stating that he was the nineteen year-old Point Guard’s mentor. Baron Davis, who it previously thought would assume that teaching role in some capacity this season sat out of practice with a lower back strain. This coming on the heels of Yahoo!’s Marc Spears reporting that the Cavs will pull the Amnesty card on Davis and release him a couple nights ago.
So it looks like Baron Davis’ days could be nearing a close here in Cleveland. Maybe he still stays at this point, but probably he doesn’t. Assuming he goes then, what does this move then mean for Ramon Sessions and the rest of the Cavaliers backcourt?
Under the thinking that Davis would play out at least this upcoming season of the final two he’s under contract for in Cleveland, it was widely assumed that Sessions would then be dealt to a team in need of a veteran back-up PG. There isn’t typically room for three point guards who really aren’t combo guards at all on any roster, regardless of whether you’re trying to truly compete for a playoff berth or not.
With Davis out though, the 25 year-old Sessions becomes option number two at the PG position. Whether this move indicates the Cavaliers view him as a rotation playing PG of the future will probably be determined this season, but it does appear he’ll at least be here for this team to find that out.
Sessions is under contract for $4.2 million this season, and $4.5 million during the 2012-13 campaign, and he has proved to be dependable over the last three seasons in terms of availability. He’s appeared in 79, 82, and 81 games respectively over the last three years, averaging 11.3 points, 4.6 assists, and 3 rebounds per game during those seasons. He had his best season statistically last year, and the fact that he stays healthy and is serviceable in the least does have value while trying to break a rookie PG into the Association.
The other reason he might stay is that releasing Davis will most likely end up eliminating one team who was previously interested in trading for Sessions. Prior to releasing Chauncey Billups yesterday, it made sense for the Knicks, who have shown interest in acquiring Sessions over each of the past few seasons, to deal with the Cavaliers for his services. It seemed he would be a good fit backing up Chauncey, and a better option to Toney Douglas and Iman Shumpert in that role. However now it looks like New York is exactly where Baron could possibly end up going. At least according to a couple reports surfacing yesterday after NY cut ties with Billups.
None of this does anything to improve the current Shooting Guard situation on this Cavaliers roster for this season however. Even though Baron never really played off the ball ever, my thought was still that he’d start in the backcourt alongside Kyrie Irving this season. Not an ideal situation, but a markedly better one than re-signing and starting Anthony Parker there. More entertaining too. But now the Cavaliers have to re-sign Parker, at least for one year, don’t they?
There’s a chance AP will chose to spurn the Cavaliers offer though and sign elsewhere anyways. He wasn’t at the team’s facility on Friday, and reports of out Boston indicate that the Celtics are still interested. The newly acquired Omri Casspi, who has worn AP’s number 18 throughout his career (a number that represents the Hebrew word for life) hasn’t officially selected a number yet either. So if AP’s gone, who can the Cavaliers get to eat up minutes at that spot until next June’s Draft comes around?
That list of unrestricted free agent SG’s currently includes Jason Richardson, Jamal Crawford, Richard Hamilton, Willie Green, and Anthony Parker. The restricted free agents at that position include Aaron Afflalo, Nick Young, Marco Bellinelli, and Chris Douglas Roberts.
So I guess yeah, maybe they won’t sign anybody. That would then leave Daniel Gibson as the starter at that spot by default – sans AP – to open the season. Maybe you use those first 30-games as a showcase for Booby to increase his trade value and then include him in a deal at the deadline. Maybe it’s a season long try-out for Christian Eyenga as a starting SG in the NBA instead. Maybe you give Manny Harris way more minutes than you’d ever expect he’d get this season in combination with Gibson and Eyenga.
The good news is there is no way the Cavaliers can be worse than they were last season at Shooting Guard. Jamario Moon is not the opening day starter anymore, and he is no longer being pushed for minutes by Joey Graham or Jawad Williams. The bad news, if you’d call it that right now, is the Cavaliers don’t really have a true option to start at that spot right now at all. But maybe they’re simply waiting to fill that position come June, and aren’t overly concerned about that right now.