Less than a week ago, we posted a blog criticizing the Cleveland Cavaliers relative inactivity since the NBA signing period started on July 1st.
Not that Earl Clark won’t help, but that’s not exactly the big splash fans of the wine and gold were looking for.
However, GM Chris Grant has caught our attention, and we are pleasantly surprised.
First, he inked free agent G Jarrett Jack, who we liked when he came in the league as a rookie out of Georgia Tech. He’s a solid combo guard, averaging 11.0 points and 4 assists per game for his career.
Jack should combine with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters to form a solid backcourt. There are 96 minutes per game available at guard, and these three players should be able to divide them up without a significant drop off in production.
He’s a lifetime 45% shooter from the field, and 36% from beyond the three-point line. He also makes free throws, connecting on 85% since he entered the league.
His last two seasons, he’s averaged 15.6 points and 12.9 points per game.
It is not difficult to see him getting significant minutes for Mike Brown next season.
He was a star in the playoffs for Golden State this year, scoring 17.2 a game, but we caution not to get to carried away with post-season numbers. His regular season stats speak for themselves.
Then, Grant took a gamble and signed C Andrew Bynum to a two-year contract with only a reported $6 million guaranteed. An excellent low risk, high reward move.
If Bynum can play, he’s a quality NBA center, who will be just 26 years old next season, and has averaged 11.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in his career.
In his one season playing for Mike Brown, the big man scored 18.7 points and grabbed 11.8 boards per night. That was two years ago.
Unfortunately, that was the last time Bynum played, as he missed all of last season after being traded to Philadelphia with knee problems.
So, the Cavaliers should proceed by thinking anything Bynum gives them will be a bonus.
That means they still have to sort out the logjam at the power forward and center spots, and they still need a small forward.
There were several reports that Grant isn’t done yet, but you have to figure any future moves will come from trades, as the Cavs have only the mid-level exception left (approximately $2.6 million).
You would have to think if a deal is to be made, it will involve one of the big men that the wine and gold are stockpiling. And if you can parlay one of those guys (Varejao?) for a legitimate small forward, you would have to think long and hard about it.
That doesn’t mean it was a bad signing. If Grant doesn’t take a chance on the former Laker, then he signs a few more minor free agents which probably don’t make a huge impact on the Cavaliers.
This way, he gets Bynum, who if healthy is a top five center in the NBA and will be with the team for two years. And if he isn’t the parties can part ways at the end of the season, and Grant is free to pursue someone else.
That’s a win-win scenario if there ever was one.
Grant was patient and seems to have done a solid job. Here’s hoping he’s still working to improve the 2013-14 edition of the Cavaliers. The guess here is he is.