The Cleveland Cavaliers’ front court would benefit from roster changes.
LeBron James playing down on the block at times for the Cleveland Cavaliers will continue to be seen. Given that Jae Crowder is still trying to figure out his role, much like Kevin Love’s situation in the past, Cleveland cannot sit and wait for things to hopefully come together.
More than I would like I have seen the Cavaliers fail to get easy rebounds or are boxed out from defenders that are at best Tristan Thompson’s size.
One glaring need is a true center. Since neither Thompson or Love fills that role, a change via trade is a must. Anti Zizic isn’t getting substantial playing time, so this is Cleveland’s next best option.
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One player that would fit that presence is Phoenix Suns’ Greg Monroe. Monroe was recently dealt by the Milwaukee Bucks for Eric Bledsoe.
Monroe has not played yet for Phoenix since they are in a rebuild mode and could buy out his contract. According to Sam Amico, Cleveland does have interest in Monroe.
Amico broke down what Monroe provided Milwaukee last year and gives an idea on what he could provide a team when he plays again.
"He averaged 11.7 points and 6.6 rebounds in 81 games with the Bucks last season. He then increased those averages to 13.2 points and 7.3 rebounds in the playoffs."
If Monroe does get bought out, the Cavs need to find a way to bring in Monroe. Yes, that would mean more changes to the roster would bee needed, but that is fine.
After all, they signed Jose Calderon to be a backup guard, yet he shouldn’t even be n the roster. He is past his prime and his spot would be better used on someone that can actually contribute something to the team.
Should Cleveland have to make a deal for Monroe, trading away Thompson would be my preference but also providing a trade package led by Iman Shumpert would be tempting too. By dealing Shump, Phoenix would get another guard to replace Bledsoe.
Monroe is playing on an expiring contract while Thompson is dealing with calf injury. As much as I initially liked Love at the five, that’s simply not doable right now.
Lets say Thompson is dealt. Love moves to the four, Monroe is at the five, and Zizic gets more time on the court. Cleveland is coming along and their comfort level will gel soon enough but by adding a quality center in the meantime, that should increase the process.
Even if Thompson isn’t dealt, he would be a solid role player again once he gets healthy again. Regardless, the Cavaliers cannot and should not be content in seeing how things play out. I want that impact we saw from Timofey Mozgov again when Cleveland traded for him and Monroe can provide that.