Rumor: Cavs’ new plans for free agency after Ricky Rubio trade
The Cleveland Cavaliers made a trade for veteran point guard Ricky Rubio on draft day, and that has altered their plans for free agency when it opens on Monday. Chris Fedor of cleveland.com reports point guards such as Alex Caruso and T.J. McConnell are no longer targets thanks to the presence of Rubio.
Instead, the Cavs will be turning their attention to the wing when it comes to using the mid-level exception, which is around $9.5 million. Cleveland traded Taurean Prince to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Rubio deal, making a push for wing depth even more necessary.
Fedor cites Doug McDermott and Alec Burks as top options on the wing for the Cavs, though McDermott could be a tough one:
Indiana sharpshooter Doug McDermott will get consideration, sources say. But that will be a battle. Shooters get paid in this league. A source suggested the Cavs would likely have to go an extra guaranteed year to boost their appeal. Let’s call that the “Cleveland tax.” Even that kind of contract might not be enough. Is an overpay even worth it for a specialist who sometimes gets played off the court because of defensive limitations and a lack of playmaking? Still, they don’t call him “McBuckets” for nothing. The 29-year-old swingman averaged a career-best 13.6 points this past season. He’s a 40.7% 3-point shooter. Don’t be surprised if he ends up out of Cleveland’s price range.
Burks had a brief stint with the Cavs a few years ago, so that would be a reunion. The veteran guard just had a stellar season for the New York Knicks, shooting 41.5% from 3-point range as a bench gunner.
There are a number of other wing options out there, which Fedor notes. Cleveland really needs more shooting, so look for guys who can make it rain from deep. McDermott and Burks are good options, but the Cavs might also have to turn their attention elsewhere.