After a heartbreaking Finals defeat, the Cleveland Cavaliers faced a long offseason checklist. Half of their core became free agents and everyone had to hold their breath as GM David Griffin re-assembled the pieces one-by-one. With the roster about to become complete, Cavs Nation takes a look at the Cavs’ offseason moves while sharing our own grades on each one.
10. Richard Jefferson (C)
The Cavs mostly acquired Jefferson because he is a veteran and he would bring more experience to the team. Jefferson has had a full NBA career and is now looking to win it all. He will be a good backup to LeBron James, as him and Jones will share the remaining minutes at the three spot.
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9. James Jones (C)
As with Richard Jefferson, the same goes for James Jones. Last year, the Cavs mostly acquired him as they needed a player that has played many seasons in the league. Jones played with LeBron James in Miami so they developed good chemistry, a key factor when you look to make many changes to a team.
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8. Sasha Kaun (C+)
As the Cavs lost two centers this offseason, Haywood and Perkins, they needed to find an extra slotman as Varejao is quite vulnerable now. Kaun has played a number of seasons in Europe, where he was a very dependable defensive presence. The Russian seven-footer can become a solid bench player for the Cavs, as he is already familiar with Timofey Mozgov and Coach David Blatt owing to their 2012 London Olympics stint for the Russian National Team.
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7. Matthew Dellavedova (B)
Matthew Dellavedova was perhaps the biggest surprise of the postseason, as he stopped the MVP for certain stretches and was a true hero during the NBA Finals when Kyrie Irving went out due to an injury he picked up in the first game. Dellavedova re-signed with the Cavs for one more year at a very low cost, which might help the Cavs get to the top.
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6. J.R. Smith (B+)
Everybody thought J.R. Smith’s career would soon be over, but once he joined the Cavs he was back at the form we’re used to seeing him. He signed a two-year contract worth $10 million, which is very low for a player like Smith. There were negotiations about his salary, but he decided to settle for a low sum due to his need to win and the Cavalier family that has accepted him.
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5. Kevin Love (B+)
Kevin Love was the best power forward in the league after the 2013-2014 NBA season, but hasn’t seemed so settled in Cleveland. Thus, many thought he was going to leave, with the Lakers being the team that would offer the most. Love decided to stick with the Cavs for another five years which is a sign that he really believes this team can dominate now up until the foreseeable future.
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4. Iman Shumpert (A)
Iman Shumpert came to Cleveland along with J.R. Smith and was the backup shooting guard for the biggest part of the season. In the playoffs though, he became a major part of Cleveland’s offense and started most of the games out of necessity, due to the injuries suffered by his teammates. Shumpert signed a four-year extension worth $40 million.
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3. Timofey Mozgov (A)
Since he moved to Cleveland this season, Mozgov has proved out to be a very reliable center. The team needed a center that can average a double double with good defensive skills. Mozgov turned out to be worth two 1st round draft picks. The Cavaliers exercised the option to extend the term of Mozgov’s contract to include the 2015-16 season.
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2. Mo Williams (A)
Mo Williams has played with LeBron James before and it seemed like a great combination. So when the Cavs needed a point guard and Williams was available, it was a very sane move to get him. He signed a two-year contract worth $4 million, which is far less from what he deserves. He will be a great backup point guard in a difficult time for Kyrie Irving.
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1. LeBron James (A+)
Is this even a serious question? When you sign the best player on the planet, it is considered as the best move you could’ve made. James signed a two-year contract worth $47.9 million, but is most likely to opt out of his contract in 2016 for business reasons. LeBron James gets a lot of pressure right now but he is focused, determined, and most importantly, home.