NBA Free Agency begins on July 1st. At that time a very interesting off-season will continue. Following the much ballyhooed NBA Draft, this group of free agents is a home run of stars. Many of them could team up in Miami or they could all spread out all over the NBA landscape. For the Cleveland Cavaliers there are many ways for them to look to upgrade their team. They have cap space to burn as well as assets that can be cut or traded at any time.
The first move I expect in free agency for the Cavs, if LeBron James hasn’t unofficially told them he is coming, is signing Houston Rockets small forward Chandler Parsons to a lucrative long term deal. David Griffin likes shooters, though some dispute his shooting reputation, and getting Parsons signed on the dotted line would fit the aggressive nature the Cavs have said they would have. Griffin has also noted liking taller players for their position and Parsons fits that as well at the 3 spot.
Expect the Cavaliers to make their intentions known quickly as a way of trying to force the Rockets hand. While the Rockets look to try to get Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James to join their roster they don’t want to lose Parsons. They hope to get a big piece signed then use Parsons’ Bird Rights to go over the salary cap. If the Cavs can maneuver in such a way that they Rockets can’t wait and have to make a decision it could leave the Cavs sitting with Parsons. The Rockets and Cavs may even look to do a sign and trade, giving the Rockets something for their star small forward and giving the Cavs a little more cap space.
Some Cavs fans are already thinking “But what if LeBron wants to come back?” Then the Cavs have a perfect fit of players together. After some trades, including most likely moving Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and/or Anderson Varejao the Cavs could start Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, James and Parsons. In the ever smaller NBA Parsons and James could interchange at the 3 and 4 spots giving the Cavs loads of shooting and playmaking.
If the Rockets match the Cavs could look to Gordon Hayward, who the Jazz will most likely match, or a combination of other players such as Trevor Ariza, Marcin Gortat and Channing Frye. Parsons, James and Hayward are the top level small forwards in free agency. Failing to get any of the 3 may be tough but Griffin has to have backup plans for his backup plans. I expect it starts with an offer to Parsons quickly.
What do you think the Cavs first move should be?