The Cleveland Cavaliers might not have an official general manager, but the acting one made a move yesterday, and it looks like a solid one.
Koby Altman signed free agent forward Jeff Green, last with the Orlando Magic to a one year contract to a one year deal.
Green will be 31 years old this season, making him considerably younger than most of the players the wine and gold has signed or been linked with so far this summer.
The well traveled Georgetown product is 6’9″ and can play both inside and outside, especially in today’s NBA, where teams seem to be using smaller lineups.
The downside is he is coming off his worst season as a pro with Orlando, averaging just 9.2 points per game on 39.4% shooting, well off his career numbers of 13.5 points and 43.5% accuracy from the floor.
Hopefully, this is a case of a veteran playing better on a good team, because the year before, a season he spent with both the Clippers and Grizzlies, he scored 11.7 points per game on 43% shooting.
It has been reported that LeBron James spoke to Green prior to his agreement with the Cavaliers, and also it has been written that James is speaking to free agent Jamal Crawford as well.
This flies in the face of earlier news that The King is not actively recruiting players to join the franchise in Cleveland.
Perhaps this is a sign that James isn’t headed to the Lakers after this season.
As for Crawford, we are a little ambivalent about that because of his age, he will be 38 during the 2017-18 season, and he is a defensive liability which Green isn’t. The latter has had success guarding on the perimeter.
On the other hand, the man can still shoot, hitting 36% of his three point attempts last season, and at age 37, he played in all 82 games.
Still, we believe Cleveland needs to get longer, younger, and more athletic off the bench, and inking Crawford to a deal doesn’t accomplish any of that.
Nor did agreeing to a deal with Jose Calderon, and bringing in one of James’ old mates in Miami, Udonis Haslem, doesn’t do it either.
One of the players we suggested last week, Tyreke Evans, went to Memphis for less than the full mid level exemption.
We can definitely see Altman or whoever is running the Cavs try to move Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, and even Richard Jefferson for younger players and/or non-guaranteed contracted players, who Cleveland could release and thus create some space under the salary cap.
With the huge deals given out to players already this off-season, there will be good players, who will be available on veteran minimum contracts.
At the very least, the Cavs have to still be considered the favorite to get to The Finals again next year. Yes, Boston signed the best free agent in Gordon Hayward, but let’s match up the “Big Three’s”…
Kyrie Irving > Isaiah Thomas
LeBron James > Hayward
Kevin Love > Al Horford
We maintain the biggest threat to Cleveland in the East will be Washington and Milwaukee.
However, we are sticking with our theme of younger, longer, and more athletic for the wine and gold this summer. Still, if you can get Carmelo Anthony without moving a valued rotation piece, we are on board.
And we will ask this question to those criticizing owner Dan Gilbert for not paying David Griffin or Chauncey Billups…would you rather have him spend cash on players or front office people?