Who do the Cavs have coming back next year that could legitimately start in the NBA?
PG: Mo, Sessions
PF: Hickson, Jamison
That's it. The 5 other guys that will currently remain on the roster are all bench players at best (in reverse order of size): Boobie (PG), Eyenga (SG), Harris (SG), Graham (SF) and Samuels (PF). Apparently Hollins (C) has a player option, too. Nevertheless, those are 6 guys that should see less than 10 minutes combined per game.
WHAT CAN THE CAVS DO TO FILL THE 4 REMAINING ROSTER GAPS?
1. Rely on Draft Picks and Develop Players
2. Trade for Proven Players Now
Option #1 alone sucks. The 6 bench players aren't worth developing. The only "developing" starter-worthy players are Hickson and Sessions, and each will have to split time at their position. Even with 1 decent lottery pick (I would personally love to see the Cavs pick up Perry Jones to play an athletic 6'11" SF), the Cavs would be short at one starting slot for SG or SF and at backup C (the Cavs definitely can't/won't draft a good C).
Therefore, the best step forward (without wasting another year) is to trade for a SG or SF and a backup C.
1. Picking up another starter and a solid backup big man will complement the draft pick and current 5 starter-quality guys. Here's my suggested targets for modest, but effective moves:
2. Also, this summer try to sign Shawne Williams, NY, SF to give the team a 6'9" 3-point shooter that can shoot almost as well as Boobie, but can actually play defense on NBA opponents.
3. I know these aren't huge changes, but these are easy and improve the team without cost. To further kickstart next year, however, the Cavs should use their trade exception (which allows them to acquire more salary than they send away - up to the limit of Lebron's $16M) and send away their lottery pick for this summer. I would go all out for Gerald Wallace or Andre Iguodala, rounding out out a 13-man roster (need to sign young SF and C on the cheap for development's sake):
PG: Mo Williams, Ramon Sessions, Daniel Gibson
SG: Corey Maggette, Manny Harris, Joey Graham
SF: Gerald Wallace, Shawne Williams
PF: J.J. Hickson, Antawn Jamison, Samardo Samuels
C: Anderson Varejao, Kosta Koufos
Gilbert didn't say the Cavs would win a championship in 2011, he just said they would do it before the Heat. That bet is still on the table and this team would be very competitive - even with the second team of Sessions, Harris, Williams, Jamison, Koufos.
Let's do this - NOW!
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