The Cleveland Cavaliers have a talented backcourt duo with Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell, and those two are the engines of their offense. Garland has emerged as one of the game’s best young lead guards, and Mitchell was All-NBA Second Team this season in his first year with the Cavaliers.
Those two players are high-level shooters, too, including Garland, and Mitchell is well-versed in all areas as a scorer.
For the Wine and Gold this offseason, though, it’s paramount that the team finds ways to add shooting around those two, and to help other guys, such as Evan Mobley in his progression, Jarrett Allen, and others.
It seems especially likely the Wine and Gold will look to address perimeter shooting and wing help via potential trades clearly, and/or via free agency. Rumored possible targets would appear to be Royce O’Neale, Dorian Finney-Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr., and some free agent players they could reportedly look to sign are Jalen McDaniels and Joe Ingles, for example.
Needless to say, perimeter shooting is crucial for possible additions.
As it pertains to potential free agents for the Cavs to target, here we’ll take a closer look at three bargain options that could help their shooting efforts.
The first is a player who was previously mentioned last season and seemingly at other points as a potential trade target for the Cavs. Maybe this offseason, he could be a suitable option after all.
Bargain Vet No. 1: Terrence Ross
Terrence Ross is a veteran who could make a difference for Cleveland’s rotation as a shooter who has been in his share of situations over the years.
Ross was last with the Phoenix Suns, after he was signed via the buyout market after traded by the Orlando Magic, the club he had been with since the 2016-17 season. Ross played in some minutes off the bench in Phoenix’s postseason run which in a loss in six games to the Western Conferences’ top seed in the Denver Nuggets.
Coming into that new situation, one couldn’t have had lofty expectations for him, though, with Devin Booker and Kevin Durant’s usage in the playoffs, in particular.
Regardless, Ross could very well fit the bill of a veteran who could play meaningful stretches for Cleveland at the 2 or 3, and hit shots from beyond the arc via ball-swings and from coming off screens in other instances.
There were some inconsistencies with his role in the past few seasons with Orlando, with him having to playmake more at some points and his shot was somewhat up-and-down with the Magic needing to get young players more minutes. He shot only 29.2 percent from three in 2021-22, and 33.7 percent from three in 2020-21.
Despite those down years from deep then, Ross had connected on 38.1 percent from three with Orlando pre-trade this season, and over the duration of his tenure with the Magic, he shot 35.1 percent from three on 5.7 attempts per contest.
For the Cavaliers, though, Ross is plenty respectable enough as a catch-and-shoot player and horizontal spacer to help open up more lanes for Garland, Mitchell and Mobley, and Ross is a well-versed shooter off of movement. He could make an impact for the Cavs in stretches as an off screen shooter, which would a key part of his game with Orlando.
Ross is probably not a player one could expect to fill in a bunch as a starter, but he is still capable of giving Cleveland a lift in bench minutes, and he’s had plenty of postseason experience, with Orlando and earlier in his career with the Toronto Raptors. He’s always been widely known to be a terrific teammate and locker room guy, too, which is always a plus.
He’ll be entering his 12th season next year, in which he’ll turn 33, so this wouldn’t be a monstrous addition. In spite of that, Ross could be a nice veteran signing that could aid Cleveland’s perimeter shooting efforts, seemingly on a bargain deal for a season or two, maybe with the second year non-guaranteed.