Five Fear the Sword writers answers five Cavs questions. As always, share your thoughts below.
1. What do you think George Hill’s fit on the Cavs?
Chris Manning (@cwmwrites): He’d be an upgrade over both Derrick Rose and Jose Calderon, so that’s a plus. He can also help at two positions, too, and his contract is basically an expiring deal because the last year only has a $1 million guarantee. I can get behind adding him, depending on the price.
Scott Recker (@scottmrecker): I think he’s a great fit on the Cavs, because he’s one of those players that can fit into any team — he’s smart, he shoots, he defends. Hill’s disgruntled, and, even though his contract isn’t small, it looks like the Cavs are trying to capitalize here, and not give away any major assets. George Hill doesn’t fix all the Cavs problems, but he moves the needle in the right direction.
Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav): If there was a point guard tailor made to play alongside LeBron James, it would be George Hill. Even though he’s 31 years old and is playing on a not-so-team-friendly deal, I think his ability to space the floor and play tough on the defensive end of the floor could be valuable.
Zack Geoghegan (@ZackGeoghegan): At this point, anyone that can play both sides of the ball would be a good fit with this current team. Hill is 31-years old now, but before this season in Sacramento he was playing some really solid basketball. If Hill can provide even the tiniest bit of defense while also contributing a couple threes a game, he’d be a fit that’s well worth the price.
Eustacchio Raulli (@EVR1022): I think he’d help out at both point guard and shooting guard. Good shooter that plays tough defense, with a little bit of juice off the bounce. If it allows the Cavs to get off a contract such as Iman Shumpert or J.R. Smith all the better.
2. What do you think of DeAndre Jordan and his possible fit on the Cavs?
CM: Defensively, he’d cover better for Kevin Love than Tristan Thompson, but is probably less valuable in a Finals matchup with Golden State when Love will likely need to play some center. It makes more sense if the Cavs can get him without giving up the Nets pick.
SR: I’m conflicted on DeAndre, because the Cavs really need a rim protector, and seeing a rim running center with his athleticism paired with LeBron would make for explosive pick and rolls, but the price is going to probably be too high. Plus, how the Warriors pushed the pace against the Cavs in the finals last year, I don’t think he can swing a championship.
AA: DeAndre Jordan would provide the last line of defense that Cleveland desperately needs, but the issue is what he’d likely cost. Giving up the Nets’ draft pick for an aging center doesn’t seem like good value. Besides, I don’t like his fit in a potential Finals’ series against Golden State -- not to sound like a broken record.
ZG: I’d much rather have George Hill. Jordan would bring the interior presence that the team desperately needs (among the many things they desperately need), but he can’t spread the floor and would cost way too much for the Cavs in what would basically be an improved version of Tristan Thompson.
ER: Thanks but no thanks. He’d help the Cavs crush the Eastern Conference, but his impact against either likely Finals opponent would be minimal. Since it would likely cost the Brooklyn pick that’s just not enough bang for the buck in return.
3. Should the Cavs go all-in at the deadline?
CM: If Paul George (or someone of that caliber) was available, then yes. But since that doesn’t seem to be the case, I’d say no. The Nets pick is still better than not having a lottery pick next year if LeBron leaves or as a trade chip around the draft if he stays.
SR: Only if a star becomes available. It doesn’t look like anyone on the market currently is worth the Nets pick. That said, I’m in favor of trying to keep LeBron at almost all costs. He’s a generational player, and the greatest athlete Cleveland will probably ever see. If someone like Paul George (doubtful) or Boogie (also doubtful, especially now) becomes available, I’d say swing for it. The problem is that this deadline doesn’t seem to be setting up for any major shifts.
AA: Nope, because I don’t think there’s a singular move that could put them on a level to be seriously competitive in the NBA Finals. Unless Paul George or C.J. McCollum becomes available, I think the Cavaliers should make smaller moves that could shore up their depth.
ZG: I think a few roster moves are becoming more and more necessary, but not at the cost of the Brooklyn pick. If they can upgrade their defense on the wings, that would be a start, but I’m not for tearing the team apart at this stage. It’s too late for that.
ER: No. A smaller move to help improve roster fit is fine, but cashing in an unprotected pick in what projects to be a very good draft doesn’t seem wise.
4. Aside from LeBron James, should any Cavalier be considered ‘untouchable’?
CM: No, but the context also matters here. It’s not worth trading big pieces just to shake things up. And it’d be really hard for the Cavs (or any team) to find chemistry in the middle of a season where things have been dicey at times.
SR: No. Throw a star into the equation, and I think anyone on this team — with the exception of LeBron — should be considered to be traded.
AA: Throw in Kevin Love to that list. He’s arguably having the best season in a Cavaliers’ uniform and him and LeBron seem to finally on the same page. While he could be a valuable chip in trade discussions, he should be considered untouchable.
ZG: Kevin Love should be considered the only other untouchable. He’s been great this season - for the most part - and the Cavs have him locked in for what will likely be the last of his All-Star caliber seasons. As far as everyone else, I think there are some players that won’t get traded such as Dwyane Wade and Kyle Korver, but I won’t put it past the front office to move them if necessary.
ER: Trading Kevin Love after 3.5 years seems foolish. I wouldn’t say it’s completely off the table, but I can’t think of any scenario where it makes sense. Dwyane Wade shouldn’t be traded simply because it’d displease LeBron.
5. Can all of the Cavs’ issue be solved be acquiring better players?
CM: No. And I’m not sure nabbing Hill and/or Jordan changes the ceiling for this Cavs team. When we look back at this season, it will probably be clear that the Cavs’ one chance at a big trade happened in the summer.
SR: No. If they’re going to win a championship, the wings have to start hitting threes and defending. A lot rests on J.R. Smith and Jae Crowder.
AA: Nope. Cleveland’s problems stem from a lack of effort and poor shooting. While the second could be improved with better players, the first issue has to be fixed internally. Cleveland’s been struggling, while trying to fit Isaiah Thomas into the equation. They could upgrade in their rim protection and shooting, but Cleveland has to find the answer within.
ZG: It’s definitely a step in the right direction. The team’s biggest issue right now is a lack of defense and overall effort. Bringing in new guys - especially ones who can help on defense - might help displace the lost energy and bring some new life to both sides of the ball. Unfortunately, they can’t just acquire more effort, they’ll have to put in the work for it.
ER: No. Better effort will be required to turn things around. There’s lots of talent already on the roster. Better rotations, better effort and Isaiah Thomas continuing to work his way back to full health are what the Cavs need far more than any new players.