Before signing a two-year deal worth roughly $10 million with the Minnesota Timberwolves, reports indicated that the Cleveland Cavaliers were interested in singing Brandon Roy. I was really behind the move for the Cavs, until I saw what Minnesota wanted to pay him. If the Cavs signed Roy and his half a knee, he is still a major upgrade over the D-League shooting guards Cleveland’s been trotting off the bench for the better part of two seasons. But what happens when it turns into a Grady Sizemore situation, and the Cavs are stuck paying out $5 million per year for a guy who isn’t healthy enough to play?
Before he was forced to retire with chronic knee pain, Roy was one of the top young players in the League. He played with tremendous explosiveness and had a great feel for the game. He got to the rim whenever he wanted, and mixed that with a nice mid-range game. Not a great 3-point shooter, but still very capable. He was one of the most dynamic players in the League, consistently coming through in the clutch for Portland. I would have put him possibly in the top five of 2- guards in the League for a time. Unfortunately for Portland though, injuries ended all that.
That franchise has some terrible luck, and maybe none worse than when Roy’s knees began to deteriorate in the 2010-11 season. A career 19-point per game scorer, Roy saw his scoring average drop to 12.2 per game as he struggled to stay on the court. Personally, I really hope his year off has helped him; I was an a big fan of his game and still am a fan of his. But for $5 million? I’m not sure I want to take that type of risk, and I’m glad the Cavaliers didn’t.
On the Other Free Agent Shooting Guards Available:
There are definitely some interesting names still out there on the Free Agent Shooting Guard list. The guy I would love to see in Cleveland, but I’m not holding my breath, is OJ Mayo. As the sixth man for Memphis last season he averaged 12 per game and shot 36% from behind the arc. He has always been a great scorer in the League and I think he would be great on the Cavs either starting or as their James Harden-type coming off the bench. Unfortunately, he may command a contract that would be out of the Cavs reach.
The next name will look very familiar with Cavs fans; Shannon Brown. And why not? He may come decently priced, and this past season in Phoenix he played pretty well. He averaged a repeatable 11 points per game and shot a decent 3. We all know the kind of athlete he is and I think he never really had a fair shake in Cleveland to show what he could do. With Brown, he’s another guy who could provide instant offense off the bench. If the Cavs decide to run a small lineup, the trio of him, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters could be very intriguing. Just a thought.
The last guy that caught my eye was Jodie Meeks. Now with all of these guys I am not sure of their actual availability to be clear. But Meeks averaged 8 points per game on the year for Philly, and if I’m not mistaken he also lit up the Cavs before. Meeks is a guy who can score in a variety of ways, and is also a great shooter. If he comes at the right price I’d love for the Cavs to take a shot him to fill out their roster. Any of these three guys makes this a better Cavs team.
Trust me, I don’t long for the days of Devin Brown as our primary 2-guard. With Irving and Waiters entrenched as our main duo, adding another piece to make them a trio at the guard spot might not be a bad option.
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