The Cavaliers are still looking for a suitable and reliable backup point guard to relieve Kyrie Irving when he leaves the game. After playing the position perfectly last season, Matthew Dellavedova is now flourishing in Milwaukee as the starting point guard, and the Cavs find themselves in a dilemma as to who should assume the role he left.
On draft night, the Cavs went out of their way to obtain the Atlanta Hawks‘ pick to secure the services of Kay Felder for $2 million. Despite Felder possessing great potential, he may not be ready to really contribute on a championship calibre outfit. He needs time, but the Cavs may not be patient enough to give it to him. At this stage, their quest for another championship leaves little room for error or growing pains.
They’ve also given athletic guard Iman Shumpert a go at the secondary point guard position. They’ve put the ball in his hands, and although Shumpert has started this season brilliantly, shooting a superb 45.2% from downtown, his creative ability and capacity to run an offense does not come naturally to him.
Surprisingly, their third option at the backup point guard position so far has been last roster spot occupant Deandre Liggins. Liggins has done an admirable job when taking the ball up, as running an offense comes more naturally than it does with Shumpert, but it isn’t second nature to him either. Both Liggins and Shumpert are more comfortable occupying the shooting guard position, or purely focusing all their energy on locking up opposition offensive threats.
The Cavs have started this year fantastically, and this issue hasn’t been as glaring due to the high assists total they are registering, and the wins they are collecting. Things are also made easier as Cleveland possesses the most versatile player in the NBA in LeBron James, who can take up the point guard position without skipping a beat.
James is averaging a career high nine assists per game, and because of him and the Cavs’ excellent start, it hasn’t received much attention. However, it is definitely something the Cavaliers will need to address in the coming weeks as they look further into the season and beyond.
Recently, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com shared his insight on who he thinks are on the Cavs’ radar.
Though it was reported that Cole has an NBA opt-out clause, the Cavs believe Cole is not available until February, after the Chinese season — and could be locked up even longer if his team makes the playoffs. At any rate, it would not appear he is on their radar any longer. All indications are (for now) that they will try and go the trade route to get a backup to Kyrie Irving. Could be around Dec. 15, when free agents signed over the summer can be traded. I’m just throwing a name out there — Dallas‘ Deron Williams is on that list. So is Orlando‘s D.J. Augustin.
It looks as though the Cavs understand their need for a dependable backup point guard they can rely on come playoff time and further into a taxing season. Look for the front office to make some moves before the new year as it will be a point of emphasis in the coming months.