UNDER CONTRACT: F-C Anderson Varejao, F Luke Walton, G Kyrie Irving, G Daniel Gibson, F Tristan Thompson, F Alonzo Gee, F Omri Casspi, F Luke Harangody, G-F C.J. Miles, G Kelenna Azubuike, F Jon Leuer, G Jeremy Pargo, C Micheal Eric, F Kevin Jones
DRAFT PICKS: G Dion Waiters, C Tyler Zeller
FREE AGENTS: None
MOVES: The Cavaliers did very little in free agency, partially because they were tangientally involved in the Dwight Howard trade talks and partially because Cleveland is not a preferred destination, even with nearly $20 million of cap room. GM Chris Grant was smart not to bite on Cleveland’s end of the potential deal sending Howard to New Jersey. It would have been Kris Humphries, Quentin Richardson, Sundiata Gaines and a first-round pick, which sounds a lot like Humphries and a first-round pick. Cleveland’s biggest splash was signing swingman C.J. Miles to a two-year, $4 million deal, giving rookie Dion Waiters a somewhat reliable veteran backup. After plenty of back-and-forth, the Cavs also re-signed restricted free agent Alonzo Gee to a three-year, $10 million deal. Gee, who changed agents during the process, is one of just three returning double-digit scorers for Cleveland. Everything else the Cavs have done has been minor: They got Luke Harangody’s signature on his $1.1 million qualifying offer, acquired backup point guard Jeremy Pargo, a 2014 second-round pick and cash from Memphis for D.J. Kennedy, claimed Jon Leuer off waivers from Houston and signed undrafted free agent center Micheal Eric. Late in the offseason, the Cavs also added undrafted rookie Kevin Jones.
TO-DO LIST: Cleveland’s limited activity hasn’t been for a lack of trying. The Cavs did chase Brandon Roy and showed interest in Anthony Tolliver. They also missed out on another Howard deal that would have landed Andrew Bynum, which must have had owner Dan Gilbert drooling at the idea of a quick rebuild around Bynum and Kyrie Irving. You get the sense that Grant is not done because he has to get to the salary floor and has some roster flexibility. There are a handful of veteran free agents still out there who could help stabilize a locker room that will have at least eight players 24 or younger. However, anyone added before training camp likely would have to take a one-year deal because Grant has even more cap room next summer.
PROJECTION: Despite Irving’s brilliance, this will be a tough team to watch because it has so many young players who have no idea how to win. When they are able to keep games close, the Cavs will put the ball in Irving’s hands and hope he can get them a W. But those occasions will be too few and far between. It appears that the slow rebuilding effort will continue, and Cleveland will be one of the worst teams in the league.
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