When Kyrie Irving is on the bench — as he was Wednesday night with a mild hamstring strain — the Cleveland Cavaliers lean on DeAndre Liggins and Kay Felder as their backup point guards. Liggins brings some defense, and it’s worked well enough so far, but is that the rotation the Cavaliers want when the playoffs start?
There are veteran point guards out there. Jarrett Jack will be having workouts for teams soon. Mario Chalmers also is nearly healthy and wants back on the court after an Achilles injury. And then there’s the Rajon Rondo situation in Chicago — signs are pointing to an eventual buyout there.
Are the Cavaliers keeping an eye on guys like Rondo and Chalmers? Despite some earlier reports that they were not interested, Joe Varden at the Cleveland Plain Dealer said the Cavs are watching those situations.
Seated on the Bulls’ bench for the third consecutive game was Rajon Rondo, a former All-Star who signed a two-year, $27 million deal in the offseason to come to Chicago. If the Bulls aren’t going to play him, he’d like to be traded or bought out of his contract so he can choose his next team.
The Cavs are watching this development.
Mario Chalmers is a free agent now. He’s recovering from a torn Achilles suffered last season. He hasn’t worked out for any teams, but he remains on Cleveland’s radar.
Here’s why the prior report of a lack of Cavalier interest made no sense: Why wouldn’t they watch those situations? That doesn’t mean that adding Rondo to that locker room is a wise idea, or that they will bring in Chalmers for LeBron to yell at, but Cavaliers management is too smart not to look at those guys and think about how much they might be able to help. Are they upgrades? Maybe, maybe not, but you monitor the situations. LeBron has said before he would like to see a veteran reserve point guard on the team, and what LeBron wants…
This would mean more money spent by the Cavaliers, the team already with the highest payroll in the NBA. They would have to waive a guaranteed salary — the Cavs have guys on the roster — and whoever they bring in costs four times his salary thanks to the luxury tax. So even a veteran minimum contract is a bit of a hit. Likely one Dan Gilbert pays if he can be convinced it helps the team, but for Cavs fans dreaming of bigger fish (like a Rondo trade) realize the cap it would be harsh.
But don’t be shocked if the Cavaliers look for a way to add some depth.