As the NBA free agency period is going on, the Cleveland Cavaliers have made one major move in re-signing three point shooter Kyle Korver, and a minor move in inking point guard Jose Calderon as a free agent.
At the end of The Finals, we thought the Cavaliers needed to get younger and longer on the bench, but neither of the moves made accomplished that as Korver is 36 years old and Calderon is 35.
And Calderon is coming off his worst season as a pro, averaging just 3.4 points per game, and seeing his three point shooting percentage drop to just 31%, down from his career norm of 41%.
His defense is also non-existent
Also, Richard Jefferson announced he will be returning for his 17th season, and he will be 37 years old for the 2017-18 season.
Not exactly accomplishing what we think should be the goal for next year, is it?
Here are some guys who are still out there as unrestricted free agents that we would be interested in for the wine and gold this summer:
Shabazz Muhammad: He will be 25 years old next season and is 6’6″. His career scoring average in 9.7, with a high of 13.5 in his second year with Minnesota.
He’s a decent defensive player too, and should get better with experience.
Terrence Jones: He’ll be 26 years this season, and at 6’9″ has a career 10.5 scoring average and 5. 7 rebounds in 24 minutes per night.
He also has solid defensive metrics for his career. The negative is he’s been with three teams over the last 12 months. He scored 36 points in a win over the Cavaliers last season while with New Orleans.
Tyreke Evans: Evans will be 28 this season and is coming off two injury plagued seasons. In his last full season, he averaged 16.6 points and 6.6 assists per game with New Orleans in 2014-15.
He’s 6’6″ and before he was hurt, his defensive metrics were okay. He is a player who can create his own shot.
Jeff Withey: We like Withey as a veteran big off the bench. He’ll turn 28 during next season, and averages about two rebounds and a blocked shot per game in the 10 minutes he gets.
He’s not spectacular, but does a solid job. He may not be able to play in a Finals matchup with Golden State, but you have to win the Eastern Conference first.
We understand these guys aren’t familiar to many basketball fans, and they don’t shoot the three like the players Cleveland has pursued for their bench in recent years.
And in spite of our contention that the Cavs need to get younger, if the New York Knicks do buyout Carmelo Anthony, we would love to have him as another scoring option for the team.
Remember that in The Finals, Tyronn Lue received little or no production from his bench outside of Jefferson. They didn’t contribute on offense, and that was supposed to be their strength.
So, if you can’t get offense, perhaps giving the team better defenders off the bench would be a different tact vs. the Warriors. We believe younger players would give you a better chance of that.
The longer the players listed remain unsigned, the better chance the Cavs have of getting these guys with the limited room they have due to the salary cap.
That might be their best chance to improve this off-season.