Looking Offseason for Cavaliers


Let’s face it. Whether you’re a hopeful or not, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ chances of winning the 2016 NBA Finals are slim.

Their lack of star power, offensive efficiency, leadership, quality all around players, and in some opinions, coaching, make them a team destined for nothing more than a Finals loss. Yes, they have LeBron James, but as we’ve seen before, LeBron can’t do it by himself when players like Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard are playing as well as they are.

That’s why it’s time to stop relying on subpar teams led by LeBron to win a championship, and bring a ring to Cleveland the way other cities do, true talent.

First thing first, ditch the unnecessaries. Timofey Mozgov, Mo Williams, and James Jones need to go. No one is going to trade for these players, and they’re all available free agents this offseason that we don’t need to re-sign. The team obviously doesn’t need them, as Mozgov has averaged the most minutes over the last 10 games, and has only averaged 18 mpg. Mo Williams has clearly been a player the Cavs wanted to bring in, but didn’t quite find a role for him like they wanted to. Therefore, get rid of him. And I’m sorry James Jones, but the team hasn’t needed you the last two seasons, and I doubt they will next season.

By not re-signing these players, the Cavaliers will free up $8,091,776 . The team will need to resign LeBron James and Richard Jefferson, but Jefferson won’t need to be paid no more than $850,000 and LeBron has a player option for $24,004,173 that he would be smart to take if he hopes to bring new talent to Cleveland.

The problem for Cleveland, is that they have terrible finances this offseason. $8,091,776 is not going to sign a superstar to any team. That is why it’s time to say goodbye to Kevin Love.

The Cavaliers screwed up big time by signing Love to a max deal worth $113,211,750, which is all guaranteed money. Instead, they could be signing Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook to a max deal and having a much better player on the roster.

It won’t be easy, but trading Love is a must for the Cavs this offseason. First place to look is LA. The Lakers can have a max Cap Space of $62,613,020 this offseason, and if you don’t believe they’ll be looking for another big name to bring to LA, you’re crazy. Of course, Westbrook will have to wait another season before possibly signing with his new team.

That gives the Cavaliers two more options. Durant would be a phenomenal addition to the Cleveland roster, and he has made it clear that winning is more important than money this offseason. That gives two teams a good chance at signing him, Cleveland and Golden State. The Lakers would love to sign Durant, but I think they know that their chances are slim if he’s looking for a title. That gives Cleveland a great opportunity to send Love to LA.

The trade details are hard to guess, but as long as the Cavaliers are capable of allowing the Lakers to take on Love’s contract, and give back some talent for a sign and trade deal, it’s a victory.

Then you attack the stars. Durant is priority one. Cleveland should look to throw everything they could at him in order to sign. Being able to sign LeBron and Durant is a major focus point for the Cavs, but I’m willing to bet that both players are more concerned about winning a ring than money they have already made enough of.

After Durant, it’s time to begin looking smaller. Not size, but talent. Tristan Thompson is a reliable big man and with the addition of Durant, Cleveland’s tall players will be the best in the NBA. Now, the Cavs should look point guard. Kyrie Irving isn’t the answer, and it’s become apparent that he wants out of Cleveland. So get him out.

Plenty of teams would like to have Irving on their roster. Giving away Irving would be no problem at all, so do it. Send him to a team like the New York Knicks or the Portland Trailblazers, both teams with money to spend and are in need of talent.

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Then sign another big name, or wait for Westbrook. Once Irving is gone, the Cavaliers will clear up another $56,605,876 in Cap Space. Then it just depends on what you’re looking for, a scorer or a true point guard? Honestly, Durant provides more scoring than any team needs, so true point guard is a bigger need. Look Rajon Rondo.

Rondo is coming off of a great year, especially considering he only signed a one-year deal to revamp his NBA career. Well, it worked, and Cleveland should look to sign him. He isn’t a max contract player, and he won’t expect much money if he knows he’s playing with LeBron and Durant. Attitude will definitely be something that the Cavs will be concerned with, especially clashing with LeBron. If Cleveland is able to keep that under control, they’ve just reconstructed their big three in a big way.

After the money signings, resigning J.R. Smith and Matthew Dellavedova should be a priority, as well as adding a solid bench player. Possibly bringing in a familiar face for LeBron can help round out this Cavaliers team. The suggestion, sign Mario Chalmers. Cleveland will already have Thompson, Channing Frye, Durant, and Jefferson as big men. Delly provides a solid backup point guard, as well as Iman Shumpert a backup shooting guard. Chalmers simply provides that extra guard to step in and control a game when needed. Plus, he won’t be looking for much money considering the talent in this year’s Free Agency.

That leaves the Cleveland Cavaliers’ roster looking something like this heading into the 2016-2017 season.

  • Mario Chalmers (Guard)
  • Matthew Dellavedova (Guard)
  • Kevin Durant (Forward)
  • Channing Frye (Forward/Center)
  • LeBron James (Forward)
  • Richard Jefferson (Forward)
  • Sasha Kaun (Center)
  • Rajon Rondo (Guard)
  • Iman Shumpert (Guard/Forward)
  • J.R. Smith (Guard/Forward)
  • Tristan Thompson (Forward/Center)

They’ll have to sign other small players to fill the rest of the roster, but who they sign is anyone’s guess.