3 guards the Cavs should consider adding for playmaking lift

Dennis Smith Jr., Portland Trail Blazers. (Photo by Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports)
Dennis Smith Jr., Portland Trail Blazers. (Photo by Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Emmanuel Mudiay, Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports) /

#1: Emmanuel Mudiay

Emmanuel Mudiay has bounced around the NBA since being drafted seventh overall in the 2015 draft by the Denver Nuggets. He’s played for four teams in six seasons with his most recent stint being with the Sacramento Kings this season under a brief 10-day contract in January after spending the entirety of the 2020-21 season as a free agent.

Mudiay is 25 years old with the ability to make an impact on both ends of the floor. He may not have lived up to the hype he received entering the draft, but he can still serve as a decent bench piece on a playoff team. Look no further than the 2019-20 season when he played behind Mike Conley as a rotation piece for the Utah Jazz.

In Utah, Mudiay averaged 7.3 points per game on 46% shooting from the floor in just 15.7 minutes per game. He excelled in a relatively limited role as a playmaker and team defender. He flashed the ability to drive by defenders and finish around the rim, dump off passes to cutting bigs or kick out to open shooters.

As mentioned before, the defensive aspect of his game comes with a team defense approach. He’s not likely to lockdown the opposing team’s best player, but he has shown the ability to use his length to disrupt passing lanes and switch onto bigger players. He flies around the court with his athleticism and creates problems for the opposing team in any way he can.

If he were to be signed by the Cavs, the expectations for him would be relatively low. However, he would present much more potential to be a long term player in Cleveland as opposed to Tim Frazier. Mudiay has the skill set needed to make an impact on a Cavaliers team that continues to slide.