The Cleveland Cavaliers looked to be a surefire playoff team in 2021-22 before injuries derailed their season and ultimately resulted in them exiting in the Play-In Tournament. Nonetheless, it was a promising campaign for this young Cavs core, headlined by Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen.
Heading into the NBA Draft, Koby Altman knew he needed more shooting and defense and they got just that with the 14th overall pick, taking Kansas wing Ochai Agbaji. Now, the focus shifts to NBA Free Agency, with the Cavs looking for more backcourt depth in particular, where there is a few intriguing options available, and a familiar face.
Here are 2 players the Cavs must sign in free agency.
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2 players Cavs must sign in NBA Free Agency
There have already been rumors of this potentially happening and it would be a great move for Cleveland. Ricky Rubio was in the midst of a stellar season before tearing his ACL, averaging 13.1 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per night. He injected life into the Cavs’ second unit and gave their bench another viable playmaker when Garland isn’t on the floor, which is very important.
Rubio ultimately went to the Pacers in the Caris LeVert deal but with Indiana heading in a much different direction, there’s a very good chance he doesn’t stay there. The Cavs should be doing all they can to sign the Spaniard this summer. Not only did he bring a versatile skill set to the table for the Cavs, but Rubio is a veteran presence who can offer leadership to this young roster once again. 2021-22 proved to be a bounce-back campaign for the guard and returning to Cleveland where he previously had success makes far too much sense for both sides here.
Jones has made a living as a backup PG in Memphis behind Ja Morant. He’s given the Grizzlies meaningful second unit minutes for several years now, averaging 8.7 points and 4.4 assists per night while shooting 39% from downtown last season. Not only can he score and facilitate at a high level, but Jones gives the Cavs another three-point threat, something they need. Remember, Cleveland struggled to shoot the triple in 2021-22 and would instantly make them better on that front.
Signing a player like Jones could take the load off Garland because he’s known a reliable player that can step on the floor and still produce. Plus, if the former Duke standout needs to start, he’s capable. Jones served as the Grizzlies’ first-choice point guard when Ja Morant was injured and he kept them afloat. After all, they did have a 20-5 record sans Morant. That speaks to Jones’ talent.
Memphis will surely want to retain him, but since he is a UFA, the Cavs can undoubtedly go after Jones and offer him a nice role. It’s certainly worth pursuing for Cleveland because we’re talking about one of the best backup PG’s in the entire Association. This is the type of player the Cavs need and he’s also been around for a hot minute, which is also a huge benefit because of his experience.
The Cavs certainly have no shortage of options this offseason. The main core is intact, it’s now just about building around them with viable pieces that can offer additional scoring and playmaking. It’s unlikely Cleveland signs both Rubio and Jones, but either or would certainly do the trick.