With the return of LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers suddenly have one of the best looking line-ups in the Eastern Conference. New Coach David Blatt now has many options with his starting line-up. He could roll with a Kyrie Irving-Dion Waiters-LeBron James-Tristan Thompson-Anderson Varejao starting 5 or Blatt could swap Waiters with Andrew Wiggins or possibly even start both Wiggins and Waiters and play LeBron at the power forward position. Either way, the Cavaliers have a very strong starting 5 and will be one of the most improved teams this season.
While the starting 5 is set though, one glaring need for the Cleveland Cavaliers is a backup point guard. Only one man is behind Irving on the depth chart and that is Matthew Dellavedova, who is a very serviceable player but is better off as a spark plug off the bench and he isn’t ready to handle the responsibilities of becoming the No. 1 backup.
With all that being said, here are three names that the Cleveland Cavaliers should consider bringing into Cleveland to be Irving’s primary backup.
(Note: All players are unrestricted free agents)
Jameer Nelson: After spending the first 10 seasons of his career with the Orlando Magic, Jameer Nelson was let go by the Magic this off-season and is now searching for a place to continue his NBA career.
Cleveland should consider Nelson, as he would be a great fit for the team. He would bring veteran leadership to the locker room, and on the court, he is a proven winner and can bring a winning attitude to the Cleveland Cavaliers. His play would be welcome in Cleveland. Even though he shot an underwhelming 34 percent from 3-point land this past season, Nelson’s long-range shooting is still a key part of his game and it is clear the Cavs need shooters. With David Blatt’s ball-movement heavy offense and now with LeBron James’ ability to draw in the defense, Cleveland needs shooters to surround the perimeter, and Nelson would be able to fill that hole.
While Nelson’s shot wasn’t at it’s best this past season, there is no denying the shooting, veteran leadership and winning attitude he would bring to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Mo Williams: A former Cavalier and friend of LeBron James, Mo Williams is coming off of a productive season in Portland, where he backed up young superstar Damian Lillard. The similarities between Williams’ role in Portland and what his role in Cleveland would be are striking.
Williams would be asked to back-up an All-Star point guard, shoot the ball well and run the offense efficiently. Williams, like Nelson, would fit right into the Cleveland Cavaliers system, as he would provide outside shooting and leaving him open is something defenses never want to do. He can shoot the lights out, while still running an efficient offense.
Along with his on-court abilities, bringing in Williams would make one man happy and that man is James. It’s obvious that the Cavs are looking to bring in former teammates of James’, as they signed Mike Miller and bringing in Williams would be a very smart move for Cleveland, both on and off the court.
Ramon Sessions: While the Cavs need shooters, bringing in Ramon Sessions wouldn’t be a bad idea. Even though Sessions has never been a shooter during his career, bringing him back to the Cleveland Cavaliers should be considered.
Sessions is an underrated guard who has a great ability to drive to the rim. With Sessions’ ability to drive to the rim, it could cause the defense to collapse, leaving shooters open around the perimeter. Having this ability, Sessions can do things both Nelson and Williams wouldn’t be able to.
Along with his driving ability, Sessions knows when to take the right shots and doesn’t force things on offense. In Milwaukee this season, Sessions shot 48 percent from the field and a solid 35 percent 3-point range, so his shooting isn’t too bad as first thought. If he can improve his shooting, Sessions would be one of the best fits the Cleveland Cavaliers can find on the free agency market for a back-up point guard.
Sessions has also already played with Irving and has been his back-up before, so the relationship between the two is already there and bringing Sessions back would only strengthen that relationship.