Earlier this morning we shared a report with you that the Cleveland Cavaliers had given Joel Embiid‘s back a clean bill of health. This came following a report that the Cavs had decided to “hone in” on Embiid as their #1 pick and would not be looking to trade the pick. From one of those same sources that reported this morning news comes an NBA Rumor about pairing Embiid with a perfect fit at the small forward spot with Chandler Parsons and Gordon Hayward:
It might not be Carmelo to the Heat but hearing the Cavs are interested in Gordon Heyward & Chandler Parsons.
— Probasketballdraft (@Probballdraft) June 12, 2014
We covered the fit between the Cavaliers and Parsons recently. Hayward is a similar type player who is an excellent shooter, has developed his body to be stronger going to the rim and facilitates well. Parsons is a taller version who is a better shooter but has played on teams where he hasn’t had to be the #1 option like Hayward. On the Jazz teams could often load up on him as the only wing threat, which can shine light on a players’ limitation. Parsons has been overshadowed the last 2 years by James Harden and last year both Harden and Dwight Howard.
Both are the perfect type of players for the Cavaliers if they are to draft Embiid. With Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters in the backcourt a spot up shooter, who can defend and make some plays off the bounce would be a perfect fit. Embiid defensively would help lock down the paint while on offensive provide a back to the basket game but also able to pop out and shoot the mid range good as well.
The power forward spot then would be left to Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao and Anthony Bennett, all of whom have different skill sets that could fit with the combination of Irving, Waiters, Parsons/Hayward and Embiid. Thompson and Varejao provide on the ball defense and tons of rebounding, Varejao’s shot is more consistent from the high post. Bennett has an athletic game, with possible range out to the 3 point line which can help provide spacing for Embiid and the backcourt drivers.
If the Cavs decide to draft Andrew Wiggins instead then they are more likely to look for a serviceable center, which may be much harder to find. Spencer Hawes, Marcin Gortat, Greg Monroe (restricted) and Channing Frye are the top 4 centers in free agency, a far cry from the possible small forward players the Cavs could try to draft. Even with Wiggins the Cavs could still go after Parsons as his size would allow him to match up with most of the power forwards in the game, and provide ample shooting from the 4 spot.
Unfortunately the negative that is hanging in the room is that both of these players are restricted free agents. Neither is likely worthy of a max level deal but it may take an above market deal to get them out of their current homes. Would the Cavs be doing themselves a disservice by over paying for a small forward or does the presence of Irving, Waiters and either Embiid or Wiggins on rookie contracts make that type of contract more palatable? Could the Cavs agree to a sign and trade to get either the Jazz or Rockets to let their player go? Could the Cavs get involved with a big trade including the Rocekts and Parsons?
The opportunities the Cavs have this off-season are exciting, what do you think of Hayward and Parsons? Which do you like better for the Cavs?