No. 1: Russell Westbrook, LA Clippers
This is certainly the wildest option available for the Cavaliers, and it certainly isn’t one to be taken lightly. Russell Westbrook is one of the most polarizing players in the entire NBA, and the gulf between how much he can help a team and how much he can hurt a team is as wide as the Grand Canyon.
There is no question that the Los Angeles Lakers took off after his departure, making a run not just into the Play-In Tournament but all of the way to the Western Conference Finals. On the other hand, it seems true that the LA Clippers were a better team with Westbrook down the stretch and especially in the playoffs.
Can the Cavaliers or any other team that signs Westbrook thread that needle to get a player who is a defensive whirlwind and a transition monster, without getting the one who chucks shots and plays matador defense on the perimeter? Westbrook remains one of the league’s best passers and more terrifying players in the open court, but it’s an open question how a team unlocks his strengths while avoiding his cropping weaknesses.
None of these players are sure things, but that’s the reality of shopping for a point guard without much money to offer. Hopefully, Ricky Rubio bounces back and has a great season for the Cavaliers as he is further distanced from his knee injury. If not, one of these former Lakers could be the answer to help replace Rubio’s services.