The Cavs Should Look Towards These Three Free Agents This Offseason

The Cavs Should Look Towards These Three Free Agents This Offseason

Ryan Knuppel
2 years ago
3 min read
Lakers guard Malik Monk shoots the ball in the second half against the Spurs

The Cleveland Cavaliers 2021-22 season may not have ended as most fans hoped. However, the Cavs only require some minor offseason moves before being ready to contend in the Eastern Conference.

Cleveland was as high as the three-seed just before the All-Star break on February 17. But a 9-15 stretch brought the club down to the play-in round, where it lost back-to-back games against the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks. A single win would’ve meant a return to the playoffs for the first since 2017-18.

With a trio of Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley leading them forward, the Cavaliers have a good chance at making the playoffs in 2022-23. But there are at least three players they must consider singing that would bring them from good to great.

Malik Monk

While the Cavaliers were exceeding their preseason expectations, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were failing to reach theirs. That said, Malik Monk was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise catastrophic season in Hollywood.

Following four seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, Monk signed a one-year deal with LA for the veteran’s minimum. The former first-rounder ended up playing in 76 games and starting roughly half of them, averaging a career-best 13.8 points on 47.3% shooting.

Monk out-played his contract last year and will be in line for a steady pay raise this summer. But given the Lakers minimal cap space, there’s a good chance the 24-year-old joins his third team in as many seasons.

The Cavaliers would love to add another shooter or two to improve their 20th-ranked offense. Monk, along with his 39.6 percent three-point rate over the last two years, would certainly meet that need and then some.

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T.J. Warren

Cleveland’s offseason priority must be finding players who can score and score often. One player that meets the criteria is someone we’ve seen very little of in recent seasons.

When the 2019-20 NBA season resumed in the Disney World bubble, T.J. Warren went from solid role player to all-out superstar. The veteran forward averaged 26.6 in 10 bubble games, which included three 30-point outings and an unforgettable 53-point outburst. However, a major foot injury limited him to four games in 2020-21 and cost him all of last season.

The Indiana Pacers are in the midst of a rebuild, something that all but certainly means Warren will have a new home next season. But where — and for how much — are going to be very interesting questions for the 28-year-old.

Given the foot injury, it’s hard to say what Warren’s market will be. But there’s no reason for the Cavs not to check in on a player that could easily average double figures off the bench.

Anfernee Simons

If the Cavaliers decide to keep Collin Sexton, he and Garland will enter the season as the starting guards. Though if the former lottery pick signs elsewhere or is a part of a sign-and-trade, Anfernee Simons is a very strong consolation prize.

With Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum occupying the Portland Trail Blazers’ backcourt, Simons never received a chance to shine in his first three seasons. But last year, Simons ran with the opportunity, averaging 17.3 points and hitting 40.5% of his threes. 

Considering he’s just 23 years old, why wouldn’t Portland welcome Simons back? After another disappointing season, many expect the Trail Blazers to go after a star running mate for Lillard like Zach LaVine or Bradley Beal, which means less money for Simons’ huge pay raise.

Simons is a promising young player who’s well on his way to a bright NBA future. His rise would align perfectly with Cleveland’s ascension, further bolstering a young core primed to contend

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