12. Joe Ingles, Milwaukee Bucks
Joe Ingles has been an extremely solid player for his entire career, and even as he enters his age-36 season he has a lot he can offer the Cleveland Cavaliers. His shooting is every bit as lethal as it has been for his career (40.9 percent last season) and he is a solid passer in a secondary role. How long will his already-limited athleticism hold up as he ages? If the Cavs knew for certain they were getting the Ingles of two seasons ago, he would be five spots higher.
11. Jae Crowder, Milwaukee Bucks
Jae Crowder did not have a great 2022-23 season, moodily sitting out the start to the season with a trade demand before he was finally dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks and…did a whole lot of nothing. Crowder does have a strong track record as a defender and high-volume shooter, but his accuracy tends to be all over the map. Still, if the Cavs want playoff experience, it’s hard to get more than Crowder has when signing a role player.
10. Kelly Oubre Jr., Charlotte Hornets
Avid readers of this website might notice that both Jae Crowder and Kelly Oubre Jr. showed up on our list of “free agents to avoid” this summer. Both have major warts to their games if they are going to be tabbed as the new starting small forward. That’s the problem with most of the players in this range; they are likely to cost as much as the Cavs have to spend, and they probably aren’t good enough to truly solve the problem.
Oubre gets a bit too adventurous with his scoring, has an up-and-down shot and has tended to wilt in pressure moments in his career; the Cavs need to do better with their Full MLE.
9. Torrey Craig, Phoenix Suns
Here is the bargain opportunity in this tier, a player who deserves to be mentioned in this group but could be available for much cheaper. While the Phoenix Suns didn’t seem to realize it, Torrey Craig was the most reliable of their rotation wings this past season. He shot 39.5 percent from deep, started 60 games during the regular season (but just five in the playoffs) and has a proven track record defensively.
Craig is probably worth the Full MLE, but there is a chance the Cavaliers could sign him for less, leaving some room to split up the MLE and add a second player on this list. At 6’7″ with great strength, he’s likely best deployed on opposing forwards, defensively a great complement to a player like Isaac Okoro.