The Cleveland Cavaliers have already won the offseason by winning the services of the best player in the NBA, LeBron James. The whole direction of the team has completely changed in the past week. James makes everyone on the team better and his unselfishness gets his teammates a lot of open shots. He is a physical freak, who can dominate on both sides of the ball. He will be the leader of a young team with a lot of potential. Kyrie Irving is already an All-Star caliber player, who can team up with James and be part of one of the best duos in the league. He is a talented scorer, who is a dual threat with his shooting and driving to the basket. We have already seen in the NBA All-Star Game that these two can make the Cavs an exciting team. James and Irving give the Cavs the makings of a top team in the NBA.
But, with these two stars, the Cavaliers will need to add a few more pieces in order to have a supporting cast that makes them a championship contender. The Cavs are very thin in terms of shooters on the team. Dion Waiters is a scorer, but is not a consistent enough perimeter shooter to spread the floor for James and Irving. Andrew Wiggins is a solid spot up shooter, but not good enough to scare defenders into playing close to him. Matthew Dellavedova is just a backup point with a solid shooting stroke, too. The only real perimeter shooter on the team is rookie Joe Harris. He has very good range and ability to stretch the defense. But, he is only a rookie and has not shown anything yet in the NBA. So the Cavs will try to fill this need in free agency. I have six free agents who could be good players for this role.
1) Ray Allen
Ray Allen, 38, is one of the best perimeter shooters in NBA history. He is reportedly deciding between retirement and joining the Cavaliers. Allen is a career 40% three-point shooter and last season for the Heat he shot 37.5% from three. From the field, he is a career 45.2% and last season, he shot 44.2%. He would give them someone who can spread the floor and open up lanes for drives to the basket. He has experience with playing with James and so he would be a great addition to fill this shooter role. He gives the Cavs a championship veteran shooting guard for at most two years. He is my number one target to fill this role.
2) Mike Miller
Mike Miller, 34, is also rumored to be considering a Cavs offer. He is a career 40.9% three-point shooter and last season he shot 45.9%. He is a 46.2% shooter from the field in his career and 48.1% shooter last season. He also has experience playing with James. Miller can shoot off the dribble very well. He would be a player who can contribute for the next couple years, but not long term. He also is a veteran with championship success. He can play the shooting guard and small forward position.
3) James Jones
James Jones, 33, has experience playing alongside James and also has interest from the Cavs. He is another older veteran with championship experience. In his career, he has shot 40.3% from three and last season shot 51.9% from three. He is a career 40.1% shooter from the field, but last shot 45.6% from the field. He is a good spot up shooter with the ability to play shooting guard and small forward. He would be one of the top targets on my list after Allen and Miller.
4) Francisco Garcia
Francisco Garcia, 32, is a player who could give the Cavs better spacing. He is a career 36.1% shooter from behind the arc and last season shot 35.8%. From the field, he is 43% shooter in his career and 40.1% shooter last season. He is a very good spot up shooter and would be a good shooting guard or small forward option off the bench for the Cavs. He is an older player and not as deadly a shooter as Allen and Miller. He would be an option if the Cavs could not sign one of the previous three players.
5) Jameer Nelson
Jameer Nelson, 32, is a very good shooter, but could cost more then the previous players. Nelson has played his whole career with the Orlando Magic. He is a career 37.4% from behind the arc and last season a 34.8% shooter from behind the arc. From the field, he is a 44.2% shooter, but last season only shot 39.4%. He also could be a backup point guard for the Cavs. He has not played without the ball a lot, so he could not translate as well as the other shooting options. He could be an interesting option for the Cavs and one I would look at after Allen and Miller.
6) Anthony Tolliver
The Cavs reportedly have interest in 28-year-old Anthony Tolliver. He is a not pure shooter like the previous two players. He is a career 35.2% three-point shooter, but last season shot 41.3%. He is a career 41.4% shooter from the field and 42% last season. He is more of a stretch four, who can open up the driving lanes because of his good jump shot. He is younger then Allen and Miller, but is not a perimeter shooter like them. He would not be my top choice to fill this role because of his lack of deep range on his jump shot.
The Cavaliers are also in need of big men to fill in at center and power forward. They have Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao as their starters at the four and five spot. But there is not much depth behind them. Anthony Bennett is more of a stretch four, who hasn’t produced enough to really say for sure that he can be productive. Brendan Haywood could be a quality backup big off the bench. He is an older player, but has shot blocking and rebounding ability to be a solid role player. Dwight Powell is a rookie athletic power forward, who is not as physical as he needs to be to play in the NBA. This could be addressed with a trade for Kevin Love, but they will still need to add a big, who can defend, rebound, and give rest to the starters. I have six free agents who could fill this role for the Cavs.
1) Emeka Okafor
Emeka Okafor, 31, is a very good defensive center who can still be a productive player off the bench. In his career, he has averaged 12.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks a game. He is a very tough defender in the paint with the ability to block shots very well. He would give the Cavs a presence down low off the bench, both on offense and defense. He can still score down low and be a solid threat in the paint. He could play more minutes then the other players on the list and so he could be a little more expensive then other options. He is my top choice to fill this big man role.
2) Jermaine O’Neal
Jermaine O’Neal, 35, is an aging veteran, but can give the team a big body to play defense off the bench. In his career, he has averaged 13.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a game. He can still play well on defense and get rebounds. He would be a player, who can play 15-20 minutes a game at center and give Varejao more rest to reduce his injury risk. He would give the team three legit defensive centers on the roster. O’Neal would be my second choice to fill the big man role.
3) Kris Humphries
Kris Humphries, 29, is power forward with very good rebounding ability. In his career, he has averaged 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds a game. He will be a player who can get after it on the boards and be a tough rebounder. He gets points mostly from the glass with offensive rebounds in the paint. He is not a very good defender, but he is physical enough to keep his ground in the paint. Humphries is an option to add depth at power forward and be part of the big men rotation.
4) Jason Maxiell
Jason Maxiell, 31, is a good rebounder and shot blocker. In his career, he has averaged 5.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks a game. He does not produce much on offense, but he does the dirty work and gets hustle points. He is an undersized power forward, but he is athletic and has a big wingspan to grab rebounds. He can produce 10-15 minutes a game and give a breather to the starters. Maxiell would be an option after the first three on this list.
5) Ed Davis
Ed Davis, 24, is an interesting young player who could be a player who can develop into a solid rotational big man. In his career, he has averaged 6.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks a game. He is a young player with very good athletic ability. He is a good rebounder and shot blocker because of his length and athleticism. He does not have much of an offensive game because of his lack of strength and shooting ability. Davis is a power forward who can give the Cavs a player to contribute in the big men rotation and also maybe develop into an even better player.
6) Nazr Mohammed
Nazr Mohammed, 36, is an old veteran, who can play for 5-10 minutes a game. In his career, he has averaged 5.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.6 blocks a game. He is a big body, who can play a few minutes a game to give some rest to the starters. He is a solid defender with not much offensive ability anymore. He would be an option if they added one of the previous options because he will not take up big minutes.
Shooting and big men depth are the biggest needs to add alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. Free agency is a good route to go to find players who can fit roles for a team. Look for the Cavs to add at least one player to fill both of these roles. The Cavs may also go the route of trade to find some of these needs, so they may not find the players in free agency. The Cavaliers already have accomplished the hard part of the offseason in getting LeBron James. They just need to finish the roster with players who can play well with James and Irving. It has already been a great offseason for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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