Mar 19, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Alonzo Gee (33) drives to the basket against New Jersey Nets power forward Kris Humphries (43) during the second half at the Prudential Center. Cleveland Cavaliers defeat the New Jersey Nets 105-100. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
The Cavaliers seem to finally be close to agreeing to terms with restricted free agent Alonzo Gee. Due to his restricted nature, the Cavs and Gee took an awfully long time to get this done (and it's still not technically done) and bring the young wing back to Cleveland. Nevertheless, the Cavs and Gee are reportedly closing in on a deal that would ink Alonzo to a three year, $10 million deal.
According to Kurt Helin from NBC Sports in the article, the Cavs have placed this offer on the table for much of the offseason. Naturally, Gee was then just waiting it out to see if someone would make a play for him and force the Cavs to pony up more dough. That never happened.
At 3 years, $10 million, Gee is a bargain. He was one of the Cavs' best perimeter defenders last season, showed *some* improvement on his jump shot, and showed plenty of improvement in driving and getting to the foul line. In 2010-2011, Gee shot 3 free throws per 36 minutes. In 2011-12, he shot 4.2 free throws per 36 minutes. In addition, Gee increased his production in assists, rebounds, and steals. We saw his true shooting % go down, but that was expected with an increased workload. Hopefully he can become more efficient throughout the next three seasons.
The Cavaliers also signed C.J. Miles this offseason, someone who has vaguely similar physical attributes as Gee. While Miles hasn't shown the defensive prowess that Gee has, both players are quite young and have the ability to play both the 2 and the 3. With Omri Casspi and Kelenna Azubuike hoping for bounceback seasons,, the Cavs have built up some nice depth on the wing.
Ultimately, the Cavaliers are paying for the potential that Alonzo Gee possesses. At 6'6" he has good size on the perimeter and is able to defend both shooting guards and small forwards. He has freaky athleticism, an asset on the fastbreak with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. If he can really develop a better handle and a consistent jumper, he'll be a really nice piece. He's by no means a star, but at just over $3 million, he's a solid get as a role player.