LeBron James wants a backup point guard on the roster, and for all the Twitter haters saying “stop your whining and just play” LeBron isn’t wrong. The Cavaliers let Matthew Dellavedova walk last summer because of the cost (with tax he would have cost them north of $30 million) and they had Mo Williams under contract for this season. Except on the day before training camp started Williams decided to walk away from the game on top. That left a hole in the roster that Kay Felder cannot fill.
The Cavaliers have a couple of trade exceptions, and they are looking at some point guards that they could slot into those spots, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
The simpler option for the reigning champions, as opposed to a Melo-sized blockbuster deal, might prove to be a smaller swap in which the Cavaliers absorb the salary of a veteran point guard into their $4.4 million Anderson Varejao trade exception that expires Feb. 20. Sources say one vet known to interest the Cavs — one who possesses a salary that would fit into that exception — is Utah’s Shelvin Mack at $2.4 million. Mack, according to sources, is most definitely available. The Cavs, though, would be forced to use the $4.8 million trade exception they just created in the Kyle Korver deal (with an expiration date of Jan. 7, 2018) to absorb the salary of Denver’s Jameer Nelson, who is said to be another Cleveland target but makes $4.5 million this season.
Also out there, Mario Chalmers and Jarrett Jack are free agents looking to make comebacks off injuries.
The other option for the Cavaliers is to see what players might get waived after the trade deadline, for example, the Bulls could decide to buy out Rajon Rondo. Frankly, Nelson would be a better fit in the locker room and willingly would take on the backup role, but if the Cavs are willing to wait out the market there could be interesting names available for cheap. Of course, that comes with the roll of the dice about who will be available.
All just things to watch. It’s far more likely to happen than the Carmelo Anthony trade ideas.