Should the Cleveland Cavaliers go out and get Royce O’Neale?
The Cleveland Cavaliers need some help shooting threes, that’s not really up for debate. One of the names that was almost dealt to Cleveland during the season last year was former Utah Jazz and current Brooklyn Nets’ small forward, Royce O’Neale. O’Neale was apparently almost sent to Cleveland but as Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor writes, the Brooklyn Nets opted to not trade the forward.
"They came close in February and were far down the road on a deal for Brooklyn’s Royce O’Neale before it opted not to trade him."
Now, the Nets made the playoffs, so they probably made the right move by keeping O’Neale, but would O’Neale be a fit for the Cavaliers in 2023-2024? The simple question is “yes”, but the more complicated answer is “yes, but…”
He’s not a great offensive player, and his defense is average at best. You’re likely to just get a three-point shooter who won’t get run off the court on defense. So yes, the Cavs need a player like that, but they can’t settle for just a player like that.
Royce O’Neale would bolster the Cleveland Cavaliers’ bench
I wouldn’t mind O’Neale at all if he came as a member of the bench crew, with him being a sizeable player who can shoot a nice clip from three, he certainly has value for the team. The problem is he’s a ball-stopper on offense and by his offensive box plus-minus, O’Neale is historically a sub-par all-around offensive player in the NBA.
He has a career OBPM of -1.5 and has never posted a positive offensive season in his life. His defense has also started to fall off at times as of late. So getting O’Neale to come in and be the team’s starting small forward would only give the Cavaliers a new version of Isaac Okoro, but taller and more willing to shoot.
Having O’Neale come off the bench for 17-25 minutes a night would be his best fit going forward.