Free Agency Grades: Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers finished last season with the worst record in the Eastern Conference and they did not sign any big free agents to improve their roster this offseason. Although, they weren’t completely quiet in making additions to their team.
Here are the signings the Cavs made in free agency, and how each player fits in Cleveland:
Matthew Dellavedova signs one year, vet minimum deal
Delly had a bad shooting year last season but he is a playmaker and is intelligent on defense. Re-signing him keeps him as a backup point guard, which is a position that needed to be filled. He’s spent most of his career in Cleveland and is a fan favorite.
Bringing him back via a veteran minimum deal was very smart and is great for the Cavs. Even if he doesn’t play much, it means something to have another key player from their championship team on the roster.
This isn’t a flashy move but it’s a good one. Re-signing a fan favorite won’t ever be dissed by your fan base even if it doesn’t help the team that much. If he can have a better shooting year, he does have a legit shot at that backup point guard spot and on a minimum deal, that would be a steal.
Damyean Dotson signs 2 year, $4 million deal
The Cavs have made one thing clear and that is their desire for guards that can score the ball. This signing was mostly made to assist in improving Cleveland’s shooting issues, especially off-the-catch. In his past two seasons, Dotson netted 36.6 percent of his 4.2 three-point attempts per contest. The question will be whether he can regularly crack the rotation.
A young guard that can shoot the ball being brought in on a cheap contract like this for a team that needs more scoring is a move you make without thinking twice. If he doesn’t work out, it was a low money deal. If he does, this ends up being a steal.
A bottom of the barrel team bringing in a young shooter for cheap is not a bad move. According to NBA.com’s shooting data, he netted over 58 percent of his step back jumpers last season. That’s impressive. He is also at least competent in his closeouts as a team defender and his effort on that end is a plus.
Thon Maker signs one year, league minimum deal
He’s young and LONG (7-3 wingspan) so they get a good grade for fit despite having Andre Drummond, Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr. and JaVale McGee in their frontcourt. If he can figure it out consistently, he will find minutes even in that deep rotation.
Getting a player with as much potential as he oozes that’s only 23 years old is a good gamble for a team like the Cavs. Doing it for the minimum only makes it that much less of a gamble that could really pay off.
This is a low risk, possibly high-reward move for Cleveland. I like it because they are rolling the dice for very little money on a player that could end up being exactly what you want as a big man in this league. Has he put it all together yet? Nope! Can he? Yup!