The Cleveland Cavaliers have been active participants in a wild start to NBA Free Agency. After the first hour saw over $1 billion in salaries handed out, things continued all weekend long. In total 74 players signed new deals worth over $2 billion in new money, not to mention a handful of extensions as well.
The Cavs leaped right in, agreeing to new deals with Georges Niang, Max Strus, Caris LeVert and Ty Jerome. After sending out Cedi Osman and Lamar Stevens and trading for Damian Jones in a separate transaction, the Cavs are around $3.4 million below the luxury tax with two open roster spots.
Cleveland could spend into the tax a bit for the right player, but they are hard-capped at the first apron, about $7 million above the tax line. Who is still available that the Cavs could consider signing to fill out the roster? Let’s look at four options that would fill four different depth needs on the roster: a big big, a former Warrior, a championship wing and a top gunner.
Free Agent No. 4: Willy Hernangomez, Center
Willy Hernangomez (older brother of Bo Cruz) is a 6’11” center who has played for the New Orleans Pelicans over the past few seasons, battling with the likes of Jaxson Hayes for the backup center position. The Pelicans decided to punt on both players this offseason, leaving Hernangomez an unrestricted free agent.
It’s possible that Hernangomez heads to Spain to find a starting role in La Liga, but it’s also possible that Ricky Rubio can recruit his Spanish National Team teammate to the Cavaliers for a year. The Cavs can use a center with size behind Jarrett Allen to give them a different look than Damian Jones, and at the minimum Hernangomez would be a solid option.