The perfect player for the Cavaliers’ 14th roster spot is the obvious one

Danny Green, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Danny Green, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers have 13 roster players, with a number of new faces representing some significant turnover in the team’s non-core players. With all but one or two of those roster players worthy of a rotation spot (sorry Damian Jones) and all three two-way spots filled, the Cavs may take their time filling the final two roster spots.

They may even go into the season with just 14 players, although at some point they’ll need to add a 15th or see limitations to their two-way player usage. For now, finding the ideal 14th player will give them the group they intend to use this season to build out their rotation and weather injuries.

There are a lot of potential options out there, from adding a rim-protecting big to giving a full contract to one of the standout players from their Championship Summer League team. Bigger names like Christian Wood and Kelly Oubre Jr. have been floated. They could try to add athleticism at the forward position, or even find another point guard to replace Ricky Rubio if they trade the veteran guard for help on the wing.

Who should the Cavaliers sign to their 14th roster spot?

There is a case to be made for all of those options, and at this point they aren’t looking for an every day rotation player. That can allow them to get a bit riskier with the spot, perhaps taking a player who may not have much left in the tank, but also could end up being a vital piece of the Cavs’ playoff rotation.

That player isn’t some mystery veteran hiding in the shadows or waiting to leap in off the top rope. He is, in fact, the most obvious player of all to fill that 14th roster spot, as that’s exactly what he did last season.

Danny Green is the obvious, and yet perfect, choice for the 14th roster spot. His resume hardly needs an introduction: three NBA championships with three different teams, a whopping 169 playoff appearances (including 159 starts) and the perfect skillset for a 3-and-D wing. Green is a career 40 percent 3-point shooter on high volume and a versatile defender with a long wingspan and a love of breaking up fastbreaks.

At 36 years old and coming off of a torn ACL in the 2022 playoffs, Green may just have lost enough athleticism and agility to be a lockdown defender. He also probably can’t play a high-minute role, although that’s never been true. Yet the upside is absolutely worth the swing.

If Green recovers well now that he’s more than a year past the tearing of his ACL, his combination of shooting and defense would be a welcome addition to a Cavaliers rotation that is still largely just non-shooting defenders or poorly-defending shooters. Green has the potential to bridge the gap.

He also brings a lot of experience, the kind of championship experience the current roster lacks; Max Strus has “been there” and that matters, but he’s never gotten over the hump. He’s also only done so in Miami; Green has done so in three spots, bringing the collective wisdom of players like Tim Duncan and LeBron James as well as three franchises.

Honestly, re-signing Green is such an obvious move that it’s a mystery as to why the Cavaliers haven’t done so yet. Perhaps they know something about his medicals that we don’t. Perhaps Green was holding out for more money this summer from another team.

Grade the Trade: Cavaliers swap point guard for wing in latest pitch. dark. Next

The money has mostly dried up, however, and the Cavs have at least one open roster spot. Signing Danny Green is the obvious choice and the perfect fit. The two sides should get this thing done and provide one of the greatest role players in NBA history a home for his 15th season.