The Free Agency Profile for the Cleveland Cavaliers
*Photo via USA Today
Cleveland Cavaliers (53-29)- (1st Central, 2nd Eastern Conference)
Although the Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t come up with enough to crown them NBA champions, the Cavs still enjoyed a very impressive season. After starting the season off 19-20 in the team’s first 39 games, they finished strong, earning the second seed in the Eastern Conference and then taking the Golden State Warriors to six games in the NBA Finals. If it were not to some injuries to a couple of star players(Kevin Love,Kyrie Irving), the Cavaliers could very well have been the 2015 NBA champs.
The season was full of storylines for this 2015 Cavaliers team, and a few midseason trades were ultimately enough to push them into the NBA Finals, giving them a chance to win their first championship in the franchise's history. Even though the season didn’t end like they wanted , the Cavaliers should consider this season a success and something to look forward to in the future.
Cap space: $39,495,311
LeBron James, Small Forward (UFA)
Kevin Love, Power Forward (UFA)
Iman Shumpert, Shooting Guard (RFA)
J.R. Smith, Shooting Guard (UFA)
Tristan Thompson, Power Forward (RFA)
James Jones, Small Forward (UFA)
Matthew Dellavedova, Point Guard (RFA)
Kendrick Perkins, Center (UFA)
Shawn Marion, Small Forward (UFA)
LeBron James chose to opt out of his contract for this upcoming season, but it is almost a sure thing that he will return to Cleveland next year. As far as Love, Thompson, Shumpert and Smith are concerned, there is mutual interest in bringing back all four players at the right price. Kendrick Perkins and Dellavedova could be back, but only if the Cavs cannot find upgrades at their respective positions. Shawn Marion is retiring so he will not be back . As for James Jones, his shooting touch is always needed in today's NBA, and could be of use to any team.
Depth- The Cleveland Cavaliers play a great all around game. They have players who can score, players who can defend and players who hustle. The one thing that stopped the Cavs from becoming the 2015 NBA champs was their lack of depth. When a couple of injuries struck this team deep into the playoffs, they did not have enough viable replacement to get the job done.
Mo Williams, PG, Charlotte Hornets, Mike Dunleavy, SF, Chicago Bulls, Patrick Beverley, PG, Houston Rockets, CJ Watson, PG, Indiana Pacers, Norris Cole, PG, New Orleans Pelicans
With the emergence of Matthew Dellavedova it seemed as if the Cavaliers were done looking for a viable backup point guard. However, after a couple of great performances in the NBA playoffs, Dellavedova fell back to reality and game by game showed that the Cavaliers lacked depth at the point guard position. Norris Cole, Mo Williams, Pat Beverley and CJ Watson would all be an upgrade at the backup point guard spot for these Cavs.
Mike Dunleavy would fit very well in Cleveland. LeBron’s ability to probe the paint and find open shooters would work great with Dunleavy.
All of these players would help push the Cavs over the hump next year and make them the favorites going into the 2015-2016 NBA season.