Jan 25, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Daniel Gibson (1) celebrates a three-point basket in the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Best Fits for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Free Agency


Jan 25, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Daniel Gibson (1) celebrates a three-point basket in the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

After a period of inactivity, the Cleveland Cavaliers made their free agency splash in signing hybrid forward Earl Clark and sixth man Jarrett Jack. While neither player is a star, both figure to play meaningful minutes next season. Clark, at 6-10, is the odds on favorite to start at small forward ahead of Alonzo Gee, while Jack should play an upward of 25 minutes a night at both guard spots.

And although I expect these to be the two biggest moves of the Cavaliers offseason, there still are spots to be filled on the roster. As it stands now, 13 players are under contract for next season, meaning general manager Chris Grant and his staff could elect to sign two more players. The other option is to sign one player or stay put and leave room on the roster for 10-day contracts or D-League call-ups down the road.

That said, here are the best fits for the Cleveland Cavaliers left on the open market.

Point Guard

Under contract: Kyrie Irving, Jarrett Jack, Chris Quinn

Best Fit: Daniel “Boobie” Gibson

In a world where Omri Casspi got a two-year deal from the Houston Rockets, I’m a tad bit surprised that a team hasn’t taken a flier on Gibson, if only because of his shooting ability from behind the arc. He’s going to be available at a low price, and, even if he’s not active every night, he could be a shooter on the end of the bench. Plus, with the signing of Jack, there isn’t a need for another conventional point guard on the roster, thus making a niche player like Gibson an acceptable signing. Plus, he’s a good guy who likes to be in Cleveland who has already played for Mike Brown. If it is at a low price, I have no qualms about bringing him back next year. However, if Gibson has indeed sold his house, then maybe the front office is comfortable with Quinn being the emergency point guard.

Shooting Guard

Under contract: Dion Waiters, C.J. Miles

Best Fit: None

There is no need to sign another shooting guard at this point. Waiters will start, Miles will come off the bench and I also expect Jack to play a fair amount of minutes off the ball with Irving at point guard. It wouldn’t even shock me if Sergey Karasev played at the two from time to time. This position is set, and I’d be a little surprised if the Cavaliers decided to spend money on a shooting guard. There’s no upside to adding another player at the two.

Small Forward

Under Contract: Earl Clark, Alonzo Gee, Sergey Karasev

Best Fit: None

Signing Clark and drafting Karasev is a short-term fix for the Cavaliers weakest position. Those two, plus Gee, gives Cleveland a decent trio that should hold down the fort for a year. I would have preferred Corey Brewer to Clark, but the Mike Brown connection made Clark a logical signing. This position isn’t great by any means, but it’s far better off than it was at this point last year. That, in itself, is a victory.

Power Forward

Under Contract: Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Kevin Jones

Best Fit: None

Again, the Cavaliers have filled their need at this position through the draft. In this case, however, they filled the position for the foreseeable future. Thompson, Bennett and maybe out-of-place center Anderson Varejao have this position on lockdown. Along with point guard, it’s the strongest position on the roster and allows the Cavaliers to be flexible with their lineups. Unless a trade comes out of left field that nets the Cavaliers a Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge, this is what the depth chart will look like come October.

Center

Under Contract: Anderson Varejao, Tyler Zeller

Best Fit: Greg Oden

Center, to me, is the position of most worry on the roster. If you think about it, the Cavaliers are a Varejao injury away from having Zeller starting at center and automatically having an issue at that position every night. Signing Oden isn’t exactly guaranteed depth, but it’s worth a shot if he comes to Cleveland instead of Miami or San Antonio. If he can play, he’d be an ideal compliment to Zeller. Oden provides the defense off the bench, while Zeller will play more on the outside and provide offense. Plus, there’s much more upside to signing Oden at little or no guaranteed money than Andrew Bynum with guaranteed money, even if both deals are for only for a year.

Conclusion

At this point, the Cavaliers roster is largely complete. The starting lineup and key reserves appear to be largely set. At this point, any shopping will be the equivalent of shopping at a garage sale or a thrift shop. Guys like Oden and Gibson could help in niche roles at low prices. Outside of those, I don’t see other signings making sense considering the moves that have already been made.

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Daniel Gibson Greg Oden NBA Free Agency

  • ufontko

    Totally agree with Oden!!! I don’t care if you can structure Bynum’s contract with incentives and other techniques that make it low risk for the Cavs. Oden has been out, and there is risk with that, but he is wanting to prove himself with his play, and if he does that for Cleveland with a short term contract, then he might repay them with wanting to stay with them since they gave him his shot to get back into the NBA. Their stat lines are almost identical, why not give the former buckeye a chance? Anybody who is a professional athlete, who’s job it is to be in the best shape possible, coming back from an injury that says bowling was the way he has been keeping in shape tells you something right there. Work ethic seems questionable, and money seems to be the priority with Bynum.