Chris Broussard: Cavs could equal the Warriors with Deron Williams, Andrew Bogut

It’s good to be the King.

Rather than trade Iman Shumpert for Patrick Beverley at Thursday’s deadline — a deal the Houston Rockets reportedly rebuffed — the Cleveland Cavaliers are about to have a backup playmaker fall into their laps. The Dallas Mavericks waived former No. 3 overall pick Deron Williams on Thursday, and he’s reportedly intent on signing with the Cavs as they try to defend their championship.

Throw in Andrew Bogut, who is expected to negotiate a buyout with the Philadelphia 76ers and could sign with Cleveland as well, and LeBron James’ squad would be in fine shape for a Finals rematch against the Golden State Warriors.

In fact, on Friday’s episode of Undisputed on FS1, Chris Broussard explained to Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe how adding those two free agents would allow Cleveland to even things up with the Warriors.

CHRIS: Okay, he’s not close to what he used to be, but he would be a backup. That’s the thing. I’m not calling in Deron Williams to start. He averaged 13 [points] and seven [assists] in Dallas. He would be the best backup point guard, unless I’m missing something, in the league. And you get Bogut?

SHANNON: Before you go any further, at one point in time, was Deron Williams thought of as the best point guard in the league?

CHRIS: Yes. It was him and Chris Paul. It was one-two, some people thought Deron, some people thought Paul. … But Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut in Cleveland? I’m going to be honest, I think this would pretty much even the tables with them and Golden State. Look, they wouldn’t have a Big Four, but they have far more depth than Golden State.

And I know [Skip loves] this, because now it’s like, “There’s no excuse if LeBron doesn’t win it!” … He needs to get it done. I’m not saying it’s over. It’s just, they’re both great. He would have the help he needs. It’s two different styles, let’s get it on. 

That’s it. That’s it. It’s not as big a disadvantage as it was yesterday if this happens.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

And when Skip calls LeBron’s clutch credentials into question, Chris points out LeBron’s actually shooting a better percentage with the game on the line this season than Kevin Durant and Steph Curry — by far.

Broussard is right; if and when the Cavs are able to add Williams and Bogut, they’ll be in much better position to threaten the Warriors in this year’s Finals. The biggest question for Golden State remains whether they have enough supporting players to make it through the 82-game slog of the regular season and the four-round war of the playoffs.

Curry, Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are all fantastic stars in their own right, but we still don’t know whether Andre Iguodala will step up to fill the void as the Warriors’ fifth player in crunch time — or if coach Steve Kerr will instead have to rely on the likes of JaVale McGee, Ian Clark and Zaza Pachulia.