So I hear there are some relatively big free agent names out there this summer. Something to do with the 2003 Draft Class. Details. I assume that all those fine gentlemen will make the appropriate choices (fight the urge to say Decision) for themselves and their respective families. Depending on how this all shakes down, some fortunate teams will be in a rush to free cap space in an effort to sign a max salary player. The Cavaliers have an interesting slate of 2015 draft picks that could come in handy when attempting to steal acquire another team’s cap-clogging assets.
Houston has been very aggressive in its effort to land Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, or Chris Bosh.
*In not-so-insignificant-news that I am clearly attempting to downplay for our collective sanity, LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul has reportedly met with Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, and Cleveland to discuss LeBron’s future; not to mention the insanity about Dan Gilbert’s plane flying to Florida, yesterday, Chris Broussard’s tweet, and the subsequent internet freakout. We live in a world with a 1440 minute news cycle.
If Houston were to lure a big time free agent to play with James Harden and Dwight Howard, the Rockets would be required to do some serious cap management. If they match whatever contract offer restricted free agent, Chandler Parsons signs, GM Daryl Morey will have to earn his Dork Elvis moniker. Many smart teams are calmly waiting for those large dominoes to fall.
Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…
1.) In his post-draft press conference last Thursday, David Griffin re-opened a hole on the Cavaliers’ roster that fans thought had finally and mercifully been plugged. Andrew Wiggins, he said, would find his most success as “a big two-guard.” So, while admitting that Wiggins would play both shooting guard and small forward, it’s clear that Griffin (and, presumably, head coach, David Blatt, as well) envision an eventual starting back court of 6-2 Kyrie Irving and the 6-8 Wiggins. That’s right, Cavs fans, just when you thought the team was finally running in the general direction of a complete roster, they land their collective sneakers — squish, squish — right back into the steaming pile that has been their small forward position for the last few years.
I love Chandler Parsons. My girlfriend thinks he’s a model, and basketball nuts think he’s a bargain for what he has done for the Rockets as a second round pick. However, if you search the words “Cavs” and “Chandler Parsons” on Google, there are only two articles, both from Cavs’ blogs, even fathoming the idea of Parsons coming to the Cavs. I know it’s a long shot. The Cavs would most likely have to pay him above his actual value of $8-10 million a year, and even if they they did over pay him, the Rockets could match the offer or make the Cavs do a sign and trade deal for him. He might not even sign a Cleveland offer sheet solely because he values big city life or just warm weather. He’s a valuable player in the modern NBA, which is why so many teams are contemplating making an offer to him.
Well, the NBA free agency courtship period started at midnight, and the current Cavs roster currently doesn’t look much better than the ones that we’ve been forced to watch for the last four years. But, last night, the Cavs did get Kyrie Irving to agree to a five year max extension for $90 million dollars, which kicks in after this season. (More on that in a future post). For now, let’s take a look at some of the Cavs free agent options. I’ve tried to inform my opinions with the probability that the players come to the Cavs and their RAPM stats from 2014 and earlier. Here’s the Cavs current depth chart. That’s a lot of contracts.
The Cavs organization must have been reading our mock draft last night because they took the same player we took with the number one pick, Andrew Wiggins. No wonder the grade for that pick is so high. Although we didn’t take Joe Harris with our 33rd pick in the mock draft, writers are pretty high on him too.
As recently as last Thursday afternoon, the Cavaliers draft strategy seemed set. They were poised to draft Joel Embiid, the 7-1 center from the University of Kansas, who many draft analysts considered to be the tip of the consensus top-three, that also included fellow Jayhawk, Andrew Wiggins, and Duke forward Jabari Parker.
The discovery of a stress fracture in Embiid’s right foot — and his subsequent surgery that inserted two screws to stabilize it — sent the Cavs and the entire NBA draft into a weeklong whirl-a-baloo of trade rumors and a dizzying back-and-forth between the remaining two, Wiggins and Parker.
In the end, the Cavs stayed put and went with Wiggins, a 6-8 200 pound SG/SF whose length and elite athleticism immediately helps out the Cavs’ soggy perimeter defense and finally extinguish the tire fire that has been their small forward position since the summer of 2010. Wiggins possesses jaw-dropping athleticism and, until Embiid’s emergence, was considered a lock to be the first player taken in this talent-laden draft. While he is by no means a finished product, he excels in the open court, which should have Cavs fans readying their salivary glands in anticipation of all the above-the-rim finishes off passes from Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. His shooting is inconsistent, but the form on his shot is good enough to expect his long range accuracy to only get better.
Nate Smith is an Associate Editor. He grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and moved to NE Ohio in 2000. He adopted the Cavs in 2003 and graduated from Kent State in 2009 with a BA in English. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or @oldseaminer on Twitter.
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