As the NBA regular season gets closer and closer, the Cleveland Cavaliers still have some open spots on their roster.
The team currently has 12 players on guaranteed contracts, one player on a non-guaranteed contract and three two-way players. Cavs insider Chris Fedor recently offered some insight into the team’s thought process regarding filling out the roster.
“Sources say the front office isn’t looking at a specific position,” Fedor wrote. “Maybe it’s a wing to help replace Lamar Stevens and Cedi Osman — two depth pieces Cleveland sent away as part of the three-team [Max] Strus sign-and-trade. Perhaps it’s another big, someone with a bit more experience and certainty than [Damian] Jones, the 28-year-old journeyman who hasn’t been able to consistently crack a rotation since being drafted by the Warriors in the first round seven years ago.
“How about another ball-handler in case [Ricky] Rubio can’t return to form and the unheralded [Ty] Jerome isn’t quite ready for a bigger role? Is there a better option than [Dean] Wade — the do-it-all forward who was unable to step up following Kevin Love’s February buyout? Maybe it’s a veteran locker-room leader to enhance the culture — a la Robin Lopez last year or Ed Davis in 2021-22.”
Fedor mentioned players like Kelly Oubre Jr., P.J. Washington, Christian Wood, Terrence Ross and others as possible options for Cleveland, but nothing is certain for now.
Koby Altman and the rest of the Cavaliers front office will likely take their time in building out the rest of the roster ahead of training camp. Fedor noted that the Cavs believe they are three deep at each position and like their two-way players, who are Craig Porter Jr., Emoni Bates and Isaiah Mobley.
It’ll be interesting to see if any of the youngsters on two-way contracts secure big roles for Cleveland in the upcoming season. The Cavs are coming off a pretty successful 51-win season, though that regular season success seems to have been forgotten due to the squad’s disappointing playoff series against the New York Knicks.
Cleveland appeared overmatched against the Knicks, but that playoff experience should be valuable for this season and beyond. Cavs legend Mark Price certainly believes so and expects the team to improve in the 2023-24 campaign.
Offseason acquisitions like Strus and Georges Niang should give the team a boost from beyond the arc, an area in which it struggled in against the Knicks. The Cavs also have big plans on offense for Evan Mobley and expect him to take a third-year leap.
Only time will tell what other additions the Cavs make and how far they go this season.