Free agency’s major moves are all done, but with a little more money to work with post LeBron James, the Cavaliers are shopping around to fill out their roster.
Per cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, the Cavs have spoken to free agents David Nwaba, Luke Babbitt and Trevor Booker. Per Vardon, Nwaba “has interest” in joining the Cavs, while conversations with Babbitt and Booker were more “basic.”
Nwaba, 25, is the most interesting name on this list. He’s a 6’4” guard who spent last season with the Bulls and was a restricted free agent before Chicago pulled his qualifying offer. He’s a limited offensive player, and isn’t much of a three-pointer shooter, but is a good defender and is a good cutter. Last season, he averaged 7.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. The Lakers are also reportedly interested.
Babbitt, 29, would give the Cavs another three-pointer shooter and some depth at small forward and power forward. In 50 games with the Heat and Hawks last season, he shot 38.5 percent from three and averaged 5.2 points per game. He would be the most sense if the Cavs end up dealing Kyle Korver and/or if the Cavs move on from Okaro White. Babbitt was also born in Cincinnati and lived there until he was nine.
Booker, 30, played with the Nets, 76ers and Pacers last season. A 6’8” forward, Booker would seem to a move to add depth behind Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., Ante Zizic and Tristan Thompson up front. He would likely have more value to a team contending for a playoff spot.
The Cavs still have both their mid-level exception (worth as much as $8.6 million next season or $37 million over four years) and their biannual exception (worth $3.3 million or $7 million over two years) to use.
Of the players on this list. Nwaba would make the most sense as a young wing player the Cavs could continue to develop over the next few years. Babbitt could make sense if the Cavs are concerned about being thin at small forward, but he’s mostly a specialist at this point anyway. Booker wouldn’t hurt to have around, but frontcourt depth is not a need for Cleveland. They also have already signed Channing Frye this offseason to a one-year deal.
The Cavs currently have 12 players on their roster, but that number would go to 13 if/when the team re-signs restricted free agent Rodney Hood. They could also create a roster spot by waiving Rodney Hood, whose contract for next season becomes guaranteed for $750,000 of his $1.5 million total salary on Aug. 5.