The Cleveland Cavaliers have been relatively quiet this summer, and as a Cavs fan, it bothered me. I knew that the Cavaliers had little to no chances of landing a big name (Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, etc.), but I expected them to sign a few mid-tier players to fill voids within in their roster. However, the Cavs have done very little in free agency.
On Thursday, the Cavs signed guard J.P Macura to an Exhibit 10, partially guaranteed deal. Macura played his college ball at Xavier University and went undrafted in 2018. Macura briefly player with the Charlotte Hornets on a two-way deal, but spent most of his time with the Greensboro Swarm their G-League affiliate.
Macura’s current deal can be converted to a two-way deal if the Cavs choose to do so. The Cavs have two two-way slots and former Kansas State forward Dean Wade has the other. If they convert Macura’s deal, he’ll become their second two-way player.
Besides signing Macura and Wade (and releasing J.R Smith into free agency), the Cavs have stayed quiet in free agency. But, that may not be a bad thing.
Earlier this summer, the Cavs gained three rookies in the 2019 NBA Draft. They used their lottery pick (the No.5 pick) to select guard Darius Garland of Vanderbilt. Garland is a 6-foot-2 guard that averaged 16.2 points and 3.8 rebounds. He played five games for Vanderbilt as he suffered a meniscus injury early in the season. He sat out for the rest of the season and later declared for the NBA draft. While Garland was their only lottery pick, the Cavs gained two other players in the first round.
Later in the draft, the Cavs drafted guard/forward Dylan Windler. Windler was the 26th pick of this year’s draft, and the Cavs used a pick they acquired from the Rockets to draft him. It was a solid move.
Windler played four years at Belmont before being drafted. His stats improved each year, and by his senior year, he had career-best in multiple categories. He averaged 21.3 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals (all career-highs). Windler is a solid rebounder and shooter that gives the Cavs more on the offensive end. Windler was the Cavs final pick of the 2019 draft, but they managed to gain another player through a trade.
At the end of the first round, the Cavs acquired guard Kevin Porter Jr. from USC. Porter averaged 9.5 points with the USC Trojans. He dealt with quad contusion and an indefinite suspension from the Trojans due to a “personal conduct issue.” While the injury and suspension affected his season at USC, the Cavs see something special in the young player.
Porter is an exceptional offensive player who models his game after James Harden. He is said to be a steal of this year’s draft, and if he reaches his potential, the Cavs had a player that is useful towards their rebuild. The Cavs gave the Pistons $5 million in exchange for the draft rights of Porter, so it is safe to say the Cavs are high on him.
The Cavaliers gained three talented players in this year’s draft. Garland is a guard they plan to pair with their second-year player Collin Sexton. The Cavs want to make Garland and Sexton a Damian Lillard/Cj McCollum style backcourt. If the two players mesh, they could possibly reach that level. But it won’t be easy.
Cleveland also gained two offensive talents in Windler and Porter. The Cavs gained new pieces to add to their (rebuilding) core.
While the Cavs have been quiet in free agency, they’ve actually had a solid offseason. With their new pieces (who are already building chemistry) and a new coach in John Beilein, the Cavs are headed in the right direction.
Image Source: Associated Press