3. Bringing Back Key Pieces
Two big free-agents to be include J.R. Smith, who is rumored to be opting out of his contract.
Smith started 77 of the Cavaliers 82 games this season while averaging 30 minutes a game and almost 12.5 points per contest. He broke the Cavaliers single season 3-point record by making 204 shots from beyond the arc.
Even though Smith has been inconsistent in the The Finals, he was still a key piece for the Cavaliers the past two seasons. Anytime Cleveland was down, it seemed like J.R. would always hit a key 3-pointer and get the Cavs right back into the game.
When Smith is knocking down shots, he is one of the best shooters in the game.
The urgency to sign Smith increased after Richard Jefferson announced his retirement plans following Game 7. The Cavs need wing help, and Smith–who has turned into a great two-way player since coming over from the Knicks–will give the Cavs some of the ammunition they need.
Richard Jefferson played in 74 games for the Cavs this season, despite his lack of minutes played, Jefferson stepped up huge in the playoffs. It didn’t really show in the stats, but his hustle was invaluable during the Finals.
In Game 3 when Kevin Love was out with a concussion, Jefferson had nine points, two assists and added eight rebounds. The hustle produced by the veteran made it seem like he was playing on 22-year-old legs.
It is tough to tell if Jefferson can keep up that kind of play for another season, but considering how he’s played during the current campaign, the Cavs will miss him dearly.
I expect the Cavs to resign Smith to two- or three-year contract.
An huge element the Cavaliers are going to need is to sign a back-up point guard for Kyrie. That could mean shopping the market for possible trades, signing free agents or even bringing back Matthew Dellavedova.
Before the Finals, Dellavedova might have commanded $9-$10 million per season. However, with poor Finals play, he probably cost himself a little money, although he’s probably going to be offered more than $1.2 million deal he signed last summer.
For a back-up point guard who averaged a little over 24 minutes a game in the regular season and just 12.5 minutes in the postseason, $10 million is too big an investment. But if the Cavs can get him a little cheaper, and with the way the Cavaliers cap room is looking, Delly may be David Griffin’s only option.
Next: Replace Delly and Moz