In an offseason where Raul Neto and Caris LeVert are free agents, playmaking aside from Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland is a hole the Cleveland Cavaliers will need to fill. The New York Knicks’ series emphasized the need for other reliable playmakers and shooters on the roster to alleviate the pressure from the backcourt stars.
Admittedly, Mitchell and Garland need to be better in their decision-making off the pick-and-roll, but the constant pressure from multiple defenders makes those decisions even more challenging. Getting some reliable guard play off the bench could add playmaking and shooting to ease some of the load off their shoulders.
Ricky Rubio never seemed to find his footing this past season while recovering from his ACL injury. While it’s entirely possible Rubio can regain his rhythm this next season and resemble his 2021 self, it’s in the Cavs’ best interest to ensure they have coverage in bench playmaking, regardless of Rubio’s performance. A to-be 33-year-old coming off multiple ACL injuries isn’t the most promising situation, and keeping him fresh for a playoff run could benefit everyone involved.
Bench players stepped up in the postseason, and the Cavaliers could assuredly use reserve guard reinforcements.
While elite play from star players is the first step in making a deep playoff run, right behind it is having great contributions from multiple role players. Players like Bruce Brown, Caleb Martin, Rui Hachimura, Derrick White, and others had multiple games where their efforts were instrumental in their team’s victories. The Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat reached the NBA Finals because they could rely on eight or more players to contribute on any given night.
While the Cavs may not have the financial capacity to sign a proven sixth man like Jordan Clarkson or a young backup like Tre Jones to a significant deal, there are potential targets who could fulfill their needs at a more affordable price tag.