Despite a report from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that Jordan Farmar and not Chalmers is the player that impressed the Cleveland Cavaliers during a group workout last week that included Farmar, Chalmers, Kirk Hinrich and Lance Stephenson, there is also a report from cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon that the group performed well as a whole.
“Multiple sources said the tryout went well, that each player would provide a skill set the team needs, and one or more could very well be signed between now and March 1.”
While Windhorst isn’t correct about everything, and nobody is, it’s promising that there is a correlating report.
Windhorst believes the workout was to check on how healthy Chalmers, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tear last year. Early on in his recovery, Chalmers was ahead of schedule by two weeks. That isn’t much but it does give somewhat of a glimpse into the possibility that Chalmers will be fully healthy, or close to it, by March 1st.
March 1st is the deadline for free agents to sign with a team and still be eligible to join that team for the playoffs.
Chalmers has plenty of experience in the NBA and, particularly, playing beside LeBron James. The eight-year veteran will be playing his ninth season in the NBA if signed. The first eight seasons Chalmers played with the Miami Heat until he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, along with Cleveland Cavaliers center Chris Andersen (out for the season with a torn ACL). Within that time, Chalmers played beside James for four years, earning the starting point guard spot full-time after James’ first season there.
In that time, Chalmers learned to be ready when James wanted him to shoot, becoming the off-ball guard that James needs beside him with his point-forward abilities. He never shot below 38.0 percent from three-point range beside James after the first season.
Chalmers also learned how to be the two-way playmaker James wanted him to be, seemingly being barked at by James whenever the camera was on them. Chalmers, who averaged no less than 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game in that three-year span, clearly benefited from James’ guidance.
Chalmers wasn’t just a Steve Kerr-like point guard for James’ Michael Jordan, Chalmers had quite a few gutsy performances when he kept the Miami Heat in the game.
That’s a quality the Cleveland Cavaliers have missed from their point guard group with the sign-and-trade of Matthew Dellavedova last summer.
A trade that eventually landed them Mike Dunleavy Jr. and subsequently, Kyle Korver.
If the Cleveland Cavaliers sign Chalmers, they have faith in his health and it’s time to picture the Cavs as they would play with a healthy Chalmers leading the second unit. One of the biggest draws will be the Cavs ability to rest James and Kyrie Irving in-game. The duo has logged heavy minutes this season and while it hasn’t slowed them down yet, it would be unfortunate for them to run out of gas at the finish line.
My guess would be that the Cleveland Cavaliers will either sign Farmar or Chalmers but that they prefer Chalmers because of his chemistry with James. If Farmar is signed, it may just mean that Chalmers didn’t get healthy enough by the end of the month.
I don’t think there will be a situation where they sign either to a 10-day contract unless the Cavs start sliding. When signed, either Farmar or Chalmers will likely be signed for the remainder of the season. Not only is it cheaper than signing them to 10-day contracts only to sign them for the rest of the season, I believe the Cavs have enough confidence in both players to get their job done on the court without further auditions.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed former second overall pick Derrick Williams to a 10-day contract but Williams is truly auditioning for the Cavs to see his fit.
As of now, he looks like a versatile player who can be an athletic component to the champs’ second unit. At 25-years-old, he’d be the third-youngest player on the roster behind Irving and rookie Kay Felder. That will help the Cavs in the future, hopefully, as the Cavs get James a young backup at small forward.
Chris Andersen will likely be traded soon and the Cavs will have two open roster spots. One will potentially be filled by Williams while the other will be used for a point guard.