The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a unique position. Although they are prime to stomp their way to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive time, they are still inferior to the Golden State Warriors. One of their most underlying problems is the ineffectiveness of their second unit. Simply put, the Cavaliers’ bench is atrocious compared to the Golden State Warriors. Particularly, the Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye are one of the worst members of the Cavaliers.
Iman Shumpert has proved that he hasn’t matured offensively to where he can help the Cavaliers sustain success. Channing Frye has been regularly dismissed from the Cavaliers rotation because he’s slow and a defensive liability. Issues such as these have to be solved before playoff time. Therefore, here are five players that the Cavaliers need to trade for to get Shumpert and Frye out of Cleveland for good.
5. Zach Randolph
Zach Randolph has surprised everyone this year, showing just how reliable he can be on the bench. Randolph is having a career year for the Sacramento Kings. In fact, he even outplayed DeMarcus Cousins when the Kings took on the New Orleans Pelicans. Randolph could be a prized veteran on the Cavaliers. He provides toughness, inside scoring, and rebounding, while playing significant minutes in crunch time. Obviously, Randolph is better than both Channing Frye and Iman Shumpert. He has been the reason why the Kings have had success this year, and he was even a valuable contributor for the Memphis Grizzlies.
A trade for Randolph won’t be easy, but it can be done. Randolph can be the enforcer LeBron James needs, and he can work well in the low post. Randolph can also get his own shot, even against the likes of the Golden State Warriors. For what it’s worth, Zach Randolph would make an excellent fit for the Cavaliers if they can land him sometime soon.
4. Jordan Clarkson
The Los Angeles Lakers have made it known that they plan to build around their young core of Lonzo Ball, Brandom Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma. That leaves Jordan Clarkson without a long term commitment to the Lakers. In fact, the Lakers have been shopping him for quite some time. For the right price, Clarkson could become a solid contributor for the Cleveland Cavaliers, especially if a potential deal includes Channing Frye and Iman Shumpert. Clarkson is a gifted scorer. He is one of the better slashers in the game, and he has a reliable jumpshot.
Unlike Shumpert, Clarkson can get his own shot. He has proved that in his playing days with the Lakers. At best, Clarkson is a solid starter. If the Cavaliers can ever make a move to obtain him, Clarkson would thrive in Cleveland’s isolation offense system. The best thing about Clarkson is that when he gets hot, he can become a nightmare for any team. He is an excellent finisher, and he can shoot the three well for a shooting guard. If Cleveland wants a realistic shot at filling the void in the depth chart, Clarkson would make a viable option.
3. DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan is one of the best rebounding centers in the NBA. He’s long, athletic, and he’s a great defender. Granted, Jordan doesn’t have an offensive presence, but he makes up for that by being a prototypical center. He plays his position well, he can finish close to the basket consistently. The most important thing about DeAndre Jordan is that he is a quality defender. Jordan can defend the rim with ease, making opposing offenses think twice about driving to the paint. He is a prolific shot blocker, and he plays brilliant defense against opposing centers. Jordan has an all-around amazing defensive IQ and isn’t scared to guard opponents on the perimeter.
DeAndre Jordan is also an underrated ball handle. He dribbles well for his size, and he moves somewhat like a small forward. With DeAndre Jordan on the Cavaliers, LeBron James can rest easy knowing that he has a lob partner and a great defender on his team. With Jordan, the Cavaliers would unquestionably become better with his inside scoring and defense. If the Cavaliers keep Shumpert and Frye, they will become complacent and suffer when it’s time to compete in the playoffs. Jordan may come at a high price, but he is worth the game, especially if Shumpert and Frye are involved.
2. JJ Redick
Do the Cavaliers need more three point shooting? Of course. JJ Redick is the textbook example of a three point specialist. He can shoot off the catch, and he is amazing with creating space for his shot. Much like Stephen Curry, Redick has range on his shot. He even has a quick release, which can be deadly if he was to work under the Cavaliers’ offensive scheme. For the 76ers, Redick has been playing well. He is shooting the lights out, while setting up his teammates as well. But the Cavaliers do have the assets to get a potential trade done. Raise your hands, Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye.
LeBron James is a master at driving into the paint and dishing out to three point shooters. His strategy isn’t wrong. It’s just that he doesn’t have the teammates that can get it done. With Redick, opponents will have to pick their position. Either they are going to have to let James dominate the paint, or they are going to have to give up open threes to one of the best shooters in the NBA. That doesn’t sound like a bad acquisition at all.
1. Courtney Lee
The Cavaliers don’t really need any one-niche players on their team. They have enough of those already with Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye. What the Cavaliers need is a versatile player who can perform well in every category. That player is Courtney Lee. Lee is a great role player. He can get his own shot, shoot the three well, pass well, and he can provide a spark off the bench. He is essentially a jack-of-all-trades player that the Cavaliers need.
As matter of fact, the Cleveland Cavaliers need to target all of these players to address the issues that they have faced all season. More importantly, that starts with trading Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye for more consistent role players.