Bye Bye Birdy: 5 big men the Cavs should look to acquire after the loss of Chris Andersen
The Cleveland Cavaliers took a huge blow to their big man rotation last Friday, when Chris Andersen went down with a confirmed torn ACL during practice. General Manager, David Griffin, will look to trade the ‘Birdman’, clearing his salary and roster spot hoping to find a healthy body to play minutes right away.
Cleveland were hit with the losses of Sasha Kaun and Timofey Mozgov over the offseason, those moves hurting even more now with the loss of their predecessor, Chris Anderson. The Cavaliers must move on and do so swiftly, with a deadly seven game in 11 nights stretch about to begin, including the highly anticipated Christmas Day matchup.
Fear not Cavs Nation, there are options out there and we’re about to break them down for you.
5. Josh Smith
Once the pillar of the Atlanta Hawks, Josh Smith‘s career has taken a bit of a downfall over the past few years. He’s played for three different NBA franchises within the past two seasons (including two separate stints with the Houston Rockets), and now finds himself in China playing for the Sichuan Blue Whales.
Although Smith is a shadow of the basketball player he once was, he’s proved to put up some impressive numbers will in China. Through 13 games and 32 minutes a night, J-Smoove is putting up 20 points and 11 boards a night, while shooting 40% from the field.
Smith is used to the physicality of the NBA after playing 12 seasons in the league to date. At 31 years of age and after claiming a massive $1.5 million in China for three months of play, Cleveland may be able to entice the former Slam Dunk Champ with the veterans minimum and a shot at the grandest prize in basketball, the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
4. Quincy Acy
Quincy Acy is an undersized big, standing at 6’9, but could be the perfect energy guy off the bench for this Cavaliers squad. The former Baylor Bear is just 26 years old, suiting up for four other NBA basketball clubs.
Acy currently plays for the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League, and is doing so in style. In his Legends debut this season he posted 16 points, 7 boards and a block in just 17 minutes of play. In 9 D-League appearances so far the former Knick has averaged 18.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG and 1.9 BPG. Acy is aggressive on the boards, he dives on loose balls and loves stuffing guys at the rim.
He’ll be begging teams for another shot at the big leagues and the Cavs might just be the perfect fit.
3. Kendrick Perkins
Kendrick Perkins may have only played in 17 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2014-15 season, but he was a fan favorite. Kendrick was the enforcer — nobody could take a shot at any member of the squad with ‘Perk’ around mean mugging everyone.
When the Cavaliers announced they would not be offering Perkins a new contract following the Finals loss, it was documented that many of the players were disappointed in the front office’s decision.
Perkins was a part of the New Orleans Pelicans last season, checking in to 37 games, and even starting in 5. In 14 minutes a night, Perkins averaged 2.5 points and 3.6 rebounds a night in The Big Easy.
2. Jason Thompson
A former first round pick of the Sacramento Kings, Jason Thompson split time with the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors last season. The 30 year old would then go on to sign for the Shandong Golden Stars of the Chinese Basketball Association over the past summer and is reaping the rewards.
Averaging 22 and 14 through 18 CBA games, Thompson is one of the most dominant big men in the league.
1. JJ Hickson
JJ Hickson was once a first round pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and would once again be a great fit for the Wine and Golders. Hickson was previously a Cavalier for three season before a trade sent him to Sacramento. JJ had single game career highs with the Cavs, posting a 31 point game against the Hawks and a 20 rebound night against the Bulls.
Hickson suffered a torn ACL while with the Denver Nuggets in 2014 and never regained his athleticism while in the NBA. The 28 year old signed with the Fujian Sturgeons of the CBA this summer and has found his stride, leading his team in points (27.7), rebounds (13.8), blocks (0.8) and minutes (38.5).
The former Cavalier seems ready for another shot at the NBA, and the Cavs could use his size in the middle of the paint right now.