3 free agents Cavaliers must resist overpaying this summer

Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /
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NBA Draft
Cam Reddish, Portland Trail Blazers. Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images /

Free Agent No. 2: Cam Reddish, Portland Trail Blazers

Coming into the 2019 NBA Draft, there were plenty of draft analysts who saw a future star in Cam Reddish. He was an athletic 6’8″ wing with a smooth jumper; at worst he would be Rashard Lewis, and at best he would be Paul George. He went 10th overall to the Atlanta Hawks and looked like a potential steal.

Four years later, however, that’s all Reddish still has: potential and steals. He’s been a decent enough defender from the jump, with quick hands and the agility to stay with opposing wings when he is locked in. Offensively his game has been all over the place, as the supposed “shooter” has hit just 32.2 percent of his 3-pointers and shot under 40 percent from the field. Add in more turnovers than assists and you get an actively harmful player. In our recent redraft of the 2019 NBA Draft, Reddish fell outside of the first round.

The problem with Reddish is that there are flashes of a better player hidden within. He is an 84.3 percent free-throw shooter for his career; that should have translated into better 3-point shooting by now. Out of 159 players in NBA history who have hit at least 84 percent of their free throws (min 250 attempts) Reddish ranks 12th-worst in 3-point percentage. Add in his athleticism and defensive potential, and perhaps there is still a future starter in there somewhere.

There is an argument to be made for the Cavs trying to buy low on players to maximize their limited resources, and taking a flyer on Reddish isn’t insane. The problem comes if the Cavaliers use up much of their Mid-Level Exception on Reddish. If he’s available for a few million as a reserve wing project, that’s fine. Given that he is a restricted free agent, however, paying enough to get the Portland Trail Blazers to walk away is out of the question.