Speaking with reporters pregame, LeBron James and Tyronn Lue discussed the upcoming game, team needs and Kyle Korver.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, after having added Kyle Korver via trade, are now considered to be the favorites to win it all in some circles. With a bench unit that will have Korver, Channing Frye and possibly J.R. Smith, the Cavs will have three of the best high-volume three-point shooters in the league on their team. Nonetheless, as LeBron James told ESPN, the Cavs still need a backup point guard. James, as he said he would, didn’t bring it up again.
Instead, James talked at length about the off-court growth of Eric Bledsoe, who he considers a little brother. He also talked about Frye, who has the green light to do whatever he wants on the court, including putting the ball on the floor. Frye is one of “3 or 4” (non-obvious) guys with that green light. Smith and Richard Jefferson are definitely two of the others; Smith has been said to have a fluorescent green light, while Jefferson is allowed to be a triple-threat player as well.
James also discussed how adding a rim-protector wasn’t being put out to the mainstream media, saying “not everything known has to be discussed”. With that being said, it’s possible that the Cleveland Cavaliers are indeed looking for a rim-protector in addition to a point guard.
Acquiring both a point guard and a rim-protector would require Chris Andersen, who is out for the season with a torn ACL, to be traded from the team. Though he’s on a one-year contract valued at the league minimum, Andersen is 38-years-old and has possibly suffered a career-ending injury. Trading Andersen would need to be incentivized with a sweetener of Cedi Osman and a draft pick. The Cavs $9.6 million traded player’s exception is likely to be used as well.
Source: CLE has specific targets in mind to use their $9.6M TPE on. PG/big are thought to be targets. Looking at vets on non-playoff teams.
When the backup point situation, meaning the Cavs targeting a backup point guard via trade, brought up to head coach Tyronn Lue, Lue said “We’ll see” and added that he has faith in the general manager when it comes to making transactions that will result in perfect fits for the Cavs team. Again, he said he doesn’t want the team to add in players who don’t fit.
To that point, Lue says conversation about keeping Jordan McRae and DeAndre Liggins never came up, the team loves their talent and he’s glad they, two young players, got the chance to make an NBA roster. McRae is to offense what Liggins is to defense. Unfortunately, McRae has been inefficient this season but scored 20 points, efficiently, twice in three starts this past week as the team played without Irving. To improve, Liggins must work on his off-ball contributions and McRae must work on making sure his shots come within the flow of the offense.
Nonetheless, both players have promising traits for the future.
Lue, who defended the Cavs trade of Korver despite a three-point shooter not being one of the team’s proclaimed needs, said Korver is “one of the greatest shooters of all-time” and that when you can add a player of his caliber, you don’t pass it up.
He’s right of course.
The Cleveland Cavaliers just added a player to their roster that’s made 1,952 threes in his career at a 42.9 percent rate. For a team that takes 33.0 three-point attempts per game, that’s music to their ears.
It remains to be seen who is the next player to join the Cleveland Cavaliers. One thing is for sure though. They’re happy with the players they have and the roster moves they’ve already made, or haven’t yet.