To the joy of all Cleveland faithful, the Cavaliers wasted no time this summer addressing their abysmal outside shooting that cost them their playoff series.
Better floor spacing and overall cohesion on both ends of the court will allow Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley to stay closer to the rim on defense, which will help their issues with rebounding as well. What last season and the playoffs proved was that the Cavs had chemistry among their core and star power potential. Where they lacked, though, was a true supporting cast around them.
In the opening hours of free agency, Cleveland agreed to a three-year, $25.5 million contract with Georges Niang out of their non-taxpayer mid-level exception. Along with re-signing swingman Caris LeVert, the Cavs quickly agreed to a 4-year, $65 million sign-and-trade deal with the Miami Heat to acquire sharpshooter Max Strus.
After their initial moves, the Cavaliers signed Ty Jerome and traded for Damian Jones, two players who will likely not see the court every night but will provide valuable support in the midst of injuries. Most recently, 2016 NBA Champion Tristan Thompson rejoined the Cavaliers on a one-year veteran minimum deal. Strus thus far seems to be the biggest addition for the Cavaliers this summer, and his presence as a 3-and-D wing (albeit an undersized wing) should help a number of Cavs instantly.
Conversely, many of Cleveland’s Eastern Conference rivals will enter next season with more questions than answers, making the Cavaliers’ moves even more influential to their success next year.
Even with the upgrades and moves the Cavaliers made, it is impossible not to notice the potentially better free agents that were available. From the ones that got away to the ones that were never even seriously rumored for Cleveland, these free agents might prove to be a sorely missed opportunity for the Cavs.