This year’s free agency class is not too strong, especially when you look ahead to the 2014 free agent class. Chris Grant has said he will be more active in free agency but well within the team’s limits, not diminishing their cap space for 2014. After the draft, the Cavs’ biggest needs are still small forward and center. Looking at the free agent field, it appears trading for a small forward at some point may be their best option, but there are still plenty of players who can contribute to this team’s young core. Getting them for the right price will be Chris Grant’s job. But Grant’s first job is to address the players he does have who will become free agents at 12:01 a.m.
Cavs Free Agents:
Restricted: Omri Casspi and Wayne Ellington – The Cavs have already said they will not extend qualifying offers to either player, giving them the option to test the free agent market. I’m assuming not many teams are in need of Casspi’s services, so his NBA career is on the line. Ellington, on the other hand, will have several bidders. He has been quoted that he will like to return to the Cavs, but it’s whether the Cavs want to bring him back or not
Unrestricted: Daniel Gibson, Shaun Livingston, Marreese Speights, Luke Walton and Chris Quinn– A Woj bomb was dropped today when he announced Speights will opt out of his contract, so the Cavs will move on without him in their offseason plans. Of the remaining players in the group, Livingston is the only one they want back. When Livingston stepped into the starting lineup for Kyrie Irving, he averaged 10.9 points and 3.9 assists. He has exceptional size for a point guard, something Mike Brown loves in his guards. Livingston will have a handful of bidders and will look for $3 million – but more importantly – a multi-year contract.
Non Guaranteed: C.J. Miles – Miles’ name was thrown around as a draft-day rumor, but for now, he is still a Cavalier. He got off to a rocky start when he first arrived to Cleveland, but he heated up as the season went on and shot 42 percent from three. This is another guard with great size and can be an exceptional shooter off the bench. He will only cost $2 million to bring back, a price right up the Cavs’ alley
Cavs Free Agent Targets:
Corey Brewer – He appeared in all 82 games for the Nuggets this season. He didn’t shoot the lights out of the ball this season (29.6 percent from three), but he earned his playing time with his ability to defend on the perimeter. His 6’9’’, lanky -armed frame averaged 1.4 steals per game.With a new regime in Denver, it’s unknown if he has interest in returning to the Nuggets. He will ask for around $5 million. If a team is willing to pay him that much, then he will jump all over that offer.
Greg Oden – We all know the Greg Oden story. Whatever team does sign him will be lucky to get 35 games out of him. But he is considered a low-risk, high-reward type signing. Whichever team he does sign with will likely be for the league minimum or slightly above that number if he has more than one bidder. Injury or not, he is a dominant presence in the paint, something the Cavs are in desperate need of.
Tony Allen – Founder of “The Grindhouse.” He nicknamed the Grizzlies’ arena “The Grindhouse” to describe his team’s playing style. Allen in an NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and can bring the right veteran leadership. He is a defense-over-everything type of guy, a mentality Brown would like to instill in all of his players. He can guard the one two or three positions effectly and doesn’t back down form the opponents best scorer. Allen can be a Nick Swisher type of signing for the Cavaliers. His play on the court can be useful, but his presence off the court and in the locker room can have a better effect on this young team.
Andre Iguodala – He is one of the biggest free agents this summer not named Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. Many teams will go after Iguodala because of his size, athleticism and experience. He would be an ideal fit the Cavs, but remember, he opted out of a contract that would have paid him $15 million dollar on a winning team. Is his play that much more of an improvement over Alonzo Gee? Not for $12 million more a year…
C.J. Watson – The Cavs are looking for a veteran backup point guard who can play 15-20 minutes a game. If the Cavs are unable to bring Livingston back, Watson can be a cheap option. He left his $1.1 million option, but there is still a chance he returns to Brooklyn for the veteran’s minimum after the Nets are done switching teams with the Celtics. Watson is a much better shooter than Livingston (41.1 percent from three-point range) and backed up one of the better point guards in the league in Deron Williams.
Other Free Agent Targets: Al Jefferson, Jeff Teague, Andrew Bynum, O.J. Mayo and Mo Williams - Of the names on this list, Williams might be the most realistic player to (re)sign with Cleveland. However, their was a report from Williams’ agent saying he wants a starting point guard role on a team. His agent later refuted that report. Bynum would be an ideal player to sign, but with his injury history, I don’t know if the Cavs can afford bringing in another injury-prone player. Mayo chose not to exercise his $4 million option with the Dallas Mavericks. He started all 82 games, averaging 15.3 points per game and averaged a career high in assists, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage.
The writers at RDE were asked to submit one free agent player the Cavs should go after to fill what they think is the Cavs’ biggest need. Only one. Here is what we came up with:
Zak – Corey Brewer
Chris – Greg Oden
Dan – Tony Allen
Trevor – C.J. Watson