If their portion of the Kevin Love trade occurs as reported – including the 76ers wouldn’t necessarily affect Cleveland’s roster – the Cavaliers will have 11 players clearly in their plans for next season:
- LeBron James
- Kevin Love
- Kyrie Irving
- Anderson Varejao
- Tristan Thompson
- Dion Waiters
- Mike Miller
- James Jones
- Matthew Dellavedova
- Brendan Haywood
- Joe Harris
I figure the players acquired from the Jazz – John Lucas III, Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy – will be included in the Love trade or waived. Lucas and Thomas have fully unguaranteed contracts, and Murphy’s is guaranteed just $100,000 – not too much to eat, but enough that him remaining in Cleveland is a possibility.
The Cavaliers want to add Shawn Marion and Ray Allen. But even if they sign both, that still leaves, give or take Murphy, one or two open roster spots. Cleveland can offer nothing but minimum contracts, so the options are thin.
When the Heat had LeBron, they tended to fill the bottom of their roster with over-the-hill veterans. That’s part of the reason Miami ran out of gas at the end of its four-year run.
The Cavaliers are apparently going a different direction, targeting 25-year-old E’Twaun Moore.
David Pick of Eurobasket.com:
I’m not sure which list Moore tops. Players Cleveland can definitely get because there’s no market for them?
The Magic miscast Moore as a point guard before playing him a lot with Victor Oladipo, another miscast point guard. In his third season, Moore showed enough to warrant NBA looks, but he’s not a player who definitely belongs in the league.
The 6-foot-4 Purdue product is a solid spot-up 3-point shooter, and if the Cavaliers ask him to do that in limited minutes – with the open looks LeBron, Love and Irving will create – he should be fine. But if they view him as point guard, they’ll likely be let down. Cleveland needs a backup to Irving, but the solution is someone else. Even in the right role, Moore must improve defensively to carve out a rotation spot.
Moore is not especially inspiring, but he’s gettable, and he could help a little if used right. For the capped-out Cavaliers who are full of top-end talent, that’s enough.