The free agency period begins at 12:01 am on July 1 and it’s always an anticipated event in sports during the summer. In recent years some high profile names have switched teams and turned around franchises but there have also been costly mistakes.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to add some pieces to find a way to dethrone the Golden State Warriors who are currently looking at a potential dynasty that could dominate the NBA for the next decade.
However, they’re over the salary cap and financially can’t go after the superstars that are hitting the free agent market like Blake Griffin and Gordon Hayward. They can retain some of their key players off the bench as well as add some new faces to the best team in the Eastern Conference.
- Kyle Korver is the one key free agent for the Cavaliers that they need to retain. The 36 year old three point specialist averaged 10.7 points per game and shot 48.5% from three in 35 games for Cleveland after being acquired from Atlanta in January. He’s expected to be heavily pursued once free agency opens by the Lakers, Spurs, Pelicans and Bucks. Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reported that the Cavs will make an offer at 12:01 am Friday night/Saturday morning.
- The Cavs second round pick in 2015 Cedi Osman is coming to America and is currently negotiating a deal with Cleveland according to Cleveland.com. The 22 year old forward has been playing professional basketball since 2011 and is a 3 time All-Star in the professional league in Turkey. He averaged 6.3 points per game for Anadolu Efes this past season. He’s been described as a “3 and D” wing player which the team is currently lacking on the roster. Since the Cavs are over the salary cap, they’ll have to use part of their mid-level exception ($5.1 million) on Osman’s contract. It’s also being reported that the San Antonio Spurs are interested in Osman which makes sense considering last week there was rumored talks about a trade involving Danny Green and I’m sure they asked for Osman in return.
- Carmelo Anthony remains a target for the Cavaliers if he’s bought out but the New York Knicks have not considered that option as of now. Stephen A Smith of ESPN has reported that if he is indeed bought out of his two remaining years with New York that he would come to Cleveland and join his friend and former Olympic teammate Lebron James.
Now to some players I’d like to see the Cavs target in free agency. These are players I think would come to Cleveland for the veteran’s minimum to pursue a championship and I think would be a good fit in Cleveland.
Tony Allen, guard:
The 13 year NBA veteran has been playing in Memphis the last seven seasons and has been one of the best defensive players in the league. He also has experience with a championship team as he was a big part in the Boston Celtics championship in 2008.
A member of the All-Defensive team six times, Allen would be a great addition to the bench as the Cavs are lacking guys who can play defense at an elite level. While Allen is aging, I know he can help lockdown shooters and would be a big help for Lebron if they’re on the floor together against a team like the Warriors.
Allen will draw heavy interest in free agency and while the Cavs lack money to offer, I’m sure he will take a long hard look at Cleveland before making a decision.
Vince Carter, guard/forward:
Vince Carter continues to chug along at the age of 40 and is looking towards his 20th season in the NBA next season. The eight time All-Star has spent the last three seasons in Memphis he can still throw down dunks like he did in his Toronto days as well as shoot the three pointer at an average rate.
He’s made it clear that he wants to go after a championship, something that’s alluded him during his long career. So I’m looking at two teams that he’s interested in: Golden State and Cleveland.
While Cleveland already has an aging wing player in Richard Jefferson, Carter wouldn’t be a bad option for ten to fifteen minutes a night. He shot 38% from three last season and could be a great veteran leader to have in the locker room.
Although I think the chances of him leaving Houston are low especially after they acquired Chris Paul to pair up with James Harden. Nene would be perfect for the Cavs as they need a low post presence very badly.
The 15 year veteran has been consistent throughout his career averaging 12 points and 6.3 rebounds per game during his stops in Denver, Washington and Houston.
The Cavs tried to patch the big man spot with Chris Andersen and Andrew Bogut last season after Timofey Mozgov left in free agency. Both Andersen and Bogut went down with season ending injuries.
Nene has an injury history but again like Carter, the Cavs don’t need him in the regular season and can limit his minutes until the playoffs when they’d truly need him. I doubt he leaves Houston but if he chooses to, I’d hope the Cavs pursue him heavily.
Ramon Sessions, point guard:
The former Cavalier will be a free agent barring a last minute trade as he’s due $6.3 million for next season from Charlotte. Sessions spent a season and a half with Cleveland before they traded him to Los Angeles.
The 31 year old knows what’s it’s like to backup Kyrie Irving as he had to do it during the 2011-2012 season. He also knows how to score the basketball, averaging 10.3 points during his ten year career. I’m sure he’d like to pursue a championship after being on losing teams during most of his career.
He might get a better offer financially on the open market, but a championship would mean a lot more looking back when his career is over.