May 8, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard Evan Turner (12) shoots over Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik (3) during the first half of game five in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE
The Cavaliers have a big offseason ahead of them -- and it's not just the NBA Draft. We've been talking about all the various options that the Cavs have with their four picks but the team also has a ton of cap space. While this year's free agency class is relatively underwhelming, there may be a few nice pieces that Cleveland can add. You can see the whole list here, but I picked out a couple of players that may be realistic to pursue. I'm sure you guys will cover the unrealistic options in the comments section.
Omer Asik, Chicago Bulls: Asik has been a name that has been linked to the Cavaliers for a while now. Asik is a young big man that plays superb defense. He was basically the anchor of the Bulls bench unit which was among the best defensive groups in the entire league. He's just 25 years old and it's not easy to find 7-footers that protect the rim quite like he can. He is incredibly raw on offense, but that's not why we'd want him. Two problems with signing Asik: 1) His limited offensive game means that Cleveland would need some sort of scoring threat in the post. Having a big man rotation of Asik, Tristan Thompson, and Anderson Varejao would be elite defensively, but incompetent on offense. 2) He was drafted in the second round and therefore falls under the Gilbert Arenas Rule. That means he is a restricted free agent and can only be offered $5 million per year from any team. The Bulls have a chance to re-sign him, but are pretty far over the salary cap. It may come down to whether they want to keep Taj Gibson or Omer Asik.
Delonte West, Dallas Mavericks: I'm not sure how he left things with the Cavaliers, but West had some solid years in Wine and Gold. West has also expressed interest in staying in Dallas, but as they turn their attention to Deron Williams, the Cavaliers may be able to bring West back. If the Cavaliers don't draft a starting caliber shooting guard, they could do a lot worse than Delonte West. West has been a plus-defender throughout his career and has the ability to handle the ball well enough to play some backup point.
Andre Miller, Denver Nuggets: This one is probably a bit of a pipe dream, but it'd be great if it happened. Miller was a backup point guard in Denver this season to Ty Lawson. He's a free agent this year and has expressed his desire to get a starting job. He said that he'd only really want a backup role on a championship caliber team. Obviously, the Cavaliers are not at that point yet. But, he does have a history with Cleveland and may be interested in coming back. If he feels that backing up Kyrie Irving is worth his time, that'd be an awesome get. Again, it's not likely because he is still capable of starting in the NBA, but Miller would be a nice mentor/backup point guard for the next couple of years.
OJ Mayo, Memphis Grizzlies: His time is Memphis was relatively disappointing. Truthfully, his numbers have gone downhill every year since he got into the league. Maybe he just needs a change of scenery? Whatever it is, he's probably worth a look this offseason. He's a restricted free agent but it's unlikely that the Grizzlies retain him. As we know, the Cavaliers have a big hole at the wing and not everything can be fixed through the draft. If the price is right, Mayo may be a reasonable option.
Michael Redd, Phoenix Suns: After a series of devastating injuries, Michael Redd made his return to the NBA last season with the Phoenix Suns. He didn't exactly revert to 26 point per game ability that he had in Milwaukee, but he was decent-ish. If nothing else, he'd provide veteran leadership (!!!!) and would be a fan favorite as he grew up in Columbus and went to Ohio State.
Brandon Rush, Golden State Warriors: Rush doesn't bring a ton to the table, but he can shoot the ball. He's a restricted free agent but he can shoot the ball. He was near the very top of the league in three-point percentage last year at 45.2%. So yeah, he can shoot. Kyrie needs some shooters.
Go ahead and give your opinions on some possible free agents. Let me get a few things out of the way. We are NOT getting Eric Gordon. We are NOT getting Roy Hibbert. We are NOT getting JaVale McGee. We are NOT getting Nic Batum. These guys are all restricted free agents and their own teams will likely match any offer.