These 2 free agents could fill Lamar Stevens’ former role for Cavaliers

Derrick Jones Jr., Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports)
Derrick Jones Jr., Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Javonte Green, Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports) /

Possible Stevens Replacement No. 1: Javonte Green

Javonte Green was limited to 32 appearances last season with Chicago because of a knee injury, but for a defensive and energy contributor, he could prove to be a steal via team-friendly signing.

Green is not a player who is going to factor into horizontal spacing, and is not a player you’re going to rely upon to put up big scoring numbers in his minutes. He’s had 5.1 points per contest in his career across four seasons, and while he has shown growth as a catch-and-shoot player with the Bulls, he’s not going to shoot those with much volume.

To the prior point, though, Green could fill in well for the Cavaliers as a defensive wing, and for a depth signing, could make his impact that way, and as an open floor player.

Green does not have the size of the 6-foot-6, 230-pound Stevens, but the 6-foot-5, 205-pound Green is quicker and more fluid than Stevens, and Green’s strength, ball pressure and tenacity enable him to handle bigger matchups.

His 6-foot-10 wingspan and vertical athleticism comes into play on-ball with his ability to recover easily, and as a team defender, he’s especially active in passing lanes, and can get into ball handlers, leading to deflections. Green had 1.8 steals per-36 minutes last season with Chicago, and in 2021-22, had 1.6 steals per-36 minutes.

Along with the deflections and steals, Green is a legit threat to send shots out of the picture as a weak side rotator. His timing, instincts and attention to detail off-ball have led to him posting block rates of 4.2 and 1.8 percent, and 1.0 blocks per-36 minutes in his time with Chicago, when he received more rotational opportunities, as opposed to earlier on with the Boston Celtics.

Now, regarding the other end, even with Green’s shooting limitations, he finds ways to score with effort plays, in transition after generating takeaways himself or as a cutter, and he’s a good rebounder for his size, resulting in putbacks.

Green has a career offensive rebounding rate of 6.4 percent. And thanks to his finishing on putbacks, cuts and from energy plays, he’s placed in the 98th and 97th percentiles in total points scored per 100 shot attempts the past two seasons, per Cleaning The Glass.

Green was limited last season, but the 30-year-old still could be a quality signing for Cleveland, and it’s logical that he is reportedly an under the radar name to watch for them as a player to potentially round out their roster going into 2023-24.