Yikes, another position that poses a significant problem for the Cavaliers (I'm starting to see a trend...). As you know, Cleveland used to have this really good player that was written in as the starter at the small forward position every night. He scored some points, won a couple awards, and decided to leave the Cavaliers in free agency. It has now been over a year since that player took his talents elsewhere and the Cavaliers are yet to find a suitable replacement small forward.
In their defense, the Cavs didn't really need to prepare a backup small forward since they were used to having the best in the league every night. Now there remains a gaping hole where #6 used to be. So what will the Cavaliers do to fill that void? Uh...I'm not quite sure yet.
Similar to the shooting guard position, this past NBA Draft offered very little as far as small forwards were concerned. The Cavs had no real opportunity to find a suitable replacement with their given draft picks. Instead, the front office basically ignored the position during the very short offseason prior to the lockout and will (hopefully) address it once the lockout is lifted. I find it hard to believe that Omri Casspi is the SF of the future for this franchise and there are not many other viable candidates on the roster. There will be a separate article about the newcomer, Casspi, tomorrow. Until then, I guess it is worthwhile to go over how truly pathetic the Cavaliers were at this position in the 2010-11 season.
Joey Graham is not good. He's not good at basketball and he should not be starting for an NBA team. I know that is a little unfair to say because all NBA players are theoretically "good" at basketball in some way, but Graham is real bad. It was remarkable (read: depressing) to see in the first Cavaliers-Heat matchup of the season that Cleveland had fallen all the way from having the best player in the league at the 3-spot to having...Joey Graham. The 6-foot-7-inch forward out of Oklahoma State started only 8 games for the Cavs and played in only 39. He posted a PER of 7.7 and should not be a starter for the Cavaliers next season. He may have a role in the league as a rotation player for a decent team, but hopefully he is not the best option that management can offer this coming season.
Moon started 13 games for the Cavaliers last season and was traded along with Mo Williams to the Los Angeles Clippers in the deal that sent Baron Davis to Cleveland. He is no longer on our roster and is not much of a help to us now. I figured it was worth mentioning, maybe.
Once again, these two players split a lot of time at SF and SG. Both have the size and athleticism to play either position but neither is really at the level necessary to be a starter in the NBA. Between the two of them, Gee is by far the more polished player and could be a serviceable starter for the Cavs at SF if they need him to be. Eyenga is more athletic but still incredibly raw. Eventually he could become a good backup 2 or 3, but probably lacks the talent to be a starter on a competitive team.
Ultimately, no one on the current roster is very appealing. The front office was unable to draft a small forward and will need to do something to strengthen the starting lineup before opening night. Next year's draft is stacked and some of the best players, Shabazz Muhammad and Harrison Barnes, are very talented small forwards. There will be a scouting post about the possible draft targets for the Cavaliers in 2011-12 coming up later this weekend.