The Cavs are entering a pivotal time as a franchise, as they are trying to get away from rebuilding and into winning. They are faced with a historically weak draft and a so-so free agency crop, so it may be difficult for them to have a great offseason, but I will discuss some possible scenarios that could take place.
#1 Nerlens Noel
Although he weighed in at only 206 pounds at the combine, Noel was 228 during his season at Kentucky. He could easily add 10-15 pounds and weigh more then people like Joakim Noah and Bill Russell. His college defensive numbers were among the best ever, but they will not all transfer. He will likely average around 2.5 blocks and 1.2 steals in the NBA, which would likely throw him right into DPOY territory. Combined with defense first Mike Brown, he could be very scary. Even if he never establishes an offensive game, he could average 10 points just off of rebounds and running the floor. I believe that this would be a great pick for the Cavs, and would put them into the top half of the league in defensive rating next year.
Other possible choices: Otto Porter, Victor Oladipo
#19 Tim Hardaway Jr.
Tim Hardaway Jr. impressed many at the combine when he shot the best out of anybody with a 76% shooting percentage from 3. The Cavs have an obvious need at SF, and Hardaway could fill that need. He measured in with above average speed and agility, and has a decent enough height to contend with other wings in the NBA. His weight however, would be a concern. He would need to bulk up 20-40 pounds to be able to guard people like KD, Lebron, and Melo. He could be a 3pt threat and decent defender on whatever team that decides to draft him.
Other possible choices: Rudy Gobert, Steven Adams
#31 and #33
With these picks, although I don't see them using them, I expect them to take some small school guys that could provide some depth off the bench. I believe that these guys would be Ray McCallum and Mike Muscala. McCallum performed well at Detroit and could be a good backup to Kyrie in the NBA. Mike Muscala reminds me of a more polished BJ Mullens. Muscala is a true 7 footer who can step out for a midrange jumper, or can post you up. He had a very successful career at Bucknell, and I see him making an impact as a scoring big off the bench in the pros.
With so many draft picks and so much salary cap space, the Cavs are in a great position to make a trade for a solid player. Here are a few possibilities...
The Pacers have proven that they really don't need Danny Granger anymore, which has made him expendable. His value also has gone down because of his injury, so this should be intriguing to the Cavs front office. The Pacers have a terrible bench, and they will be looking to improve it. The Cavs could offer the #19 pick, the #33 pick, and Anderson Varejao for Granger. Granger would bring the Cavs a possible Allstar at small forward, and still give them the ability to draft Nerlens Noel with the first pick. The Pacers would have 2 chances for a backup in this draft, and a high caliber bench player.
There has been a lot if news on Pierce saying he doesn't expect to be back, and the Celtics buying out his contract, so it is fair to say that something will happen to Paul Pierce this summer. Bringing on Pierce would bring a contract that isn't really being lived all the way up to, but would also bring a wing scorer and a proven winner. The Celtics are looking to rebuild, so the Cavs could trade picks. I see a deal of our last 3 picks, a future 1st, and Anderson Varejao as a possible deal. Other the that, they would ask for our #1 which I am strongly against giving up.
There are other trades that have been rumored about, but I see these two players being the most available. Some other names that have been tossed around however are Demarcus Cousins, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Kevin Love.
The Cavs have a ton of cap space over the next two years, so they have the ability to be big players in free agency. But with a so-so class this year and a star filled one next year(LEBRON!!!), they need to spend wisely.
The Cavs are looking for savvy veterans and smart defensive players and Tony Allen fits both of those. He is an all-defense selection and is widely considered one of the best perimeter defenders in basketball. Allen may be tough to get however, because he is a perfect fit with the Memphis Grizzlies right now.
Chase Budinger would bring in a mediocre defender that can shoot the ball from 3 well. He could be signed to a very reasonable contract and could make a significant scoring option off of the bench.
Andre Iguodala is the perfect fit for the Cavaliers. He would provide a scoring threat and one of the top wing defenders in basketball. Unfortunately, he is also perfect with the Nuggets right now, so I see this as very unlikely to happen.
The Cavs need to resign their veteran bench players in this summer so that they have mentors for their young guys. I would like to see them bring back Livingston, Walton, and Ellington, all of whom would provide the Cavs with a serviceable bench for the upcoming year.
So what do you think? What should the Cavs do this offseason?