5 Dream Targets For Cleveland Cavaliers In 2017 NBA Free Agency

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Detroit Pistons

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If money wasn’t a part of the equation, which 2017 NBA free agents would the Cleveland Cavaliers see as dream additions this upcoming offseason?

Since the return of LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been legitimate contenders for the NBA’s highest honor. With the way this team is built, that should continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. But how good could this team truly be?

What if the Cavaliers weren’t confined by the salary cap or luxury taxes? What if they had the money to acquire whichever 2017 free agents they saw as good fits for their needs? I know that sounds a lot like a fantasy world, but that’s what the type of scenario I’m trying to describe.

In this fantasy world, Cleveland could sign whoever they wanted without having too worry about financial restraints. Plus, it’s not like they’d need to go out and grab another superstar–they’ve already got plenty of their own. The problem for the Cavaliers right now is the lack of depth, and lack of financial flexibility to add said depth.

So let’s take a trip to a place where dreams come true and look at a few 2017 NBA free agents who Cleveland would love to sign this offseason. They may not be the biggest names available, but they’d certainly help round out what is already an impressive roster.

Here they are–my five dream targets for the Cavaliers during 2017 NBA Free Agency. Keep in mind that it’s not being factored in that these players may cost too much or may not even want to play in the role Clevelands need them to fill.

Amir Johnson Boston Celtics

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Amir Johnson, PF, Boston Celtics

This offseason, the Cavaliers are going to have to prioritize finding some capable depth in the frontcourt. Kevin Love is obviously the star at power forward, but is a bit injury-prone. As for his backup, Derrick Williams is a free agent in 2017 and may opt to follow the money out of town.

If that happens, Cleveland is left with Channing Frye as the only experienced backup big man. I can assure you that won’t fly if the Cavaliers plan on being contenders yet again in 2018. That’s why they need to go out and find a quality power forward who can step up when Love is hurt or needs some rest.

Look no further than Amir Johnson, who is currently an underrated asset for the Boston Celtics. Now I know that the 12-year NBA veteran is a starter, and likely won’t be interested in signing on as a backup. If money weren’t an issue and he was willing to accept a bench role, though, I can assure you the Cavaliers would be interest in acquiring his services.

Johnson is a much different beast than Love, focusing on stout defense and quiet, efficient play on the offensive end. He’s not going to put up huge points or haul in double-digit rebounds on a regular basis. However, he will put on his hard hat every game and bring a contagious work ethic to the Cleveland locker room.

If the Cavaliers want to keep their momentum rolling into next season, Johnson makes perfect sense. That assumes, of course, that his likely high asking price wouldn’t be an issue since this is a dream scenario.

Patty Mills San Antonio Spurs

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Patty Mills, PG, San Antonio Spurs

In an effort to address their lack of depth at point guard, the Cavaliers added Deron Williams this season. However, the aging veteran is far from a long-term answer to the problem at the point. Especially with Kyrie Irving routinely battling injuries, Cleveland needs a more reliable No. 2.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Patty Mills as a standout backup point guard. He brings with him a relentless work ethic, all while contributing big on both sides of the court. Mills’ defense is getting better year after year, and he’s finally coming into his own as a three-point shooter.

Mills is four years younger than Williams, brings a more balanced skill set to the table and offers more value from behind the arc. To top it off, he shouldn’t cost too much on the open market, even with the way point guards are valued in today’s NBA. Then again, it’s not like that really matters in regards to this discussion.

This year’s class is loaded with star point guards who may or may not ever become available. Realistically, though, the Cavaliers don’t need a star point guard–they’ve already got Irving. What they need is a quality backup who can come off the bench and make a consistent impact. That’s exactly what they’d be getting if they were to sign Mills.

Andre Iguodala Golden State Warriors

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Andre Iguodala, SF, Golden State Warriors

With several of the Cavaliers’ wing players set to hit the open market this offseason, they could soon be in need. So why not go for a guy who has enjoyed considerable success against them on the largest stage the sport has to offer?

Yes, I’m talking about Andre Iguodala, who Cleveland has met in the NBA Finals each of the last two seasons. He’s spent the last four seasons with the Golden State Warriors proving to be among the league’s most effective sixth men. I would imagine him shining in a similar role with the Cavaliers.

Iguodala is the do-it-all player every team wishes they had. He plays phenomenal defense on the wing, often matching up with some of the league’s top scorers (including James). As any Warriors fan can attest to, he’s also an excellent scoring option himself, regularly taking on the role of the offensive sparkplug when Golden State’s other stars are on the bench.

The Cavaliers obviously won’t have the money to talk him out of leaving the Bay Area. In this instance, though, that’s not important. All that matters here is he’d be an excellent addition to this Cleveland lineup, immediately taking over as the go-to guy in the second unit.

Greg Monroe 2017 NFL Draft

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Greg Monroe, C, Milwaukee Bucks

Realistically, the Cavaliers don’t need any more star big men. They’ve already got Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson locking down the frontcourt. So why would someone like Greg Monroe be of interest to the kings of the Eastern Conference?

Well as we’ve seen this year, Monroe seems to excel in a bench role. The Milwaukee Bucks have deployed him as a sixth man of sorts, and he’s shined. Although I’m sure he’ll be looking for a starting role (assuming he declines his player option), this scenario is centered around what the Cavaliers would want. And Monroe seems like an excellent option to be the third big man.

Monroe is more of a traditional big man in the sense that he dominates the paint. However, he’s an understated asset on offense, with the potential to put up big points in a number of ways when given the opportunity.

By having Thompson and Monroe tag-team the center position, the Cavaliers would have a dynamic duo who allow them to always have a defensive-minded big on the court. Even then, Monroe is more of an offensive threat than Thompson while still providing the size and physicality to clean the glass and alter shots with ease.

If Cleveland had the money to sign Monroe, I doubt they’d hesitant to get him under contract.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Detroit Pistons

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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Detroit Pistons

I want to preface this by saying that, financially, bringing in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope wouldn’t make a ton of sense. The Cavaliers already have too much money invested in J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, with the duo set to make at least $24 million combined over the next three years.

Still, I like the idea of Caldwell-Pope playing for Cleveland because he’s younger and essentially combines the best qualities of the other two. He’s the prototypical 3-and-D shooting guard, combining outstanding defense with a sharpshooter’s touch from downtown. So why not trade away Smith and Shumpert, and replace them with Caldwell-Pope?

It makes perfect sense in my fantasy world. Now that would also include dishing out what would be close to a max deal, as Caldwell-Pope is a restricted free agent. Prying him away from the Pistons won’t be easy, but it is possible considering they tried to trade him before the 2017 deadline.

Again, this is a dream scenario where anything is possible. So let’s say Detroit agrees to a sign-and-trade, moving Caldwell-Pope to the Cavaliers for either Smith or Shumpert. The Pistons get a quality scorer or wing defender, and Cleveland gets its young star to add to an already-loaded roster.

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