It’s no secret to anyone that if the Cleveland Cavaliers want to be serious contenders to repeat, they need another impact player. LeBron has been vocal about this for the past two weeks and although he may come off as whiney, which is fair to say, he’s right. If it weren’t for LeBron baiting Draymond Green in Game 4 of the 2016 NBA Finals, inevitably leading to Green’s suspension in Game 5, the Warriors would have won at home in 5. We can all agree on this, and after all adding a top 3 player in Kevin Durant the Warriors are clicking on all cylinders and look scarier than ever.
I know what you’re thinking, Lance Stephenson…? What a train wreck, yeah that’s just what LeBron and the Cavs need. When you think of Lance you probably think of him childishly blowing into LeBron’s ear in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and LeBron grinning in profound astonishment that a grown man just blew in his ear. But yes, this could be just what LeBron needed, hear me out. Lance Stephenson may be a lot of things, but one thing that is unquestioned is the man has talent. Yet still only twenty-six years of age, Lance is still more than young enough to revitalize his career.
But how would he fit with the Cavs you may ask? Well for one, he plays the same position as LeBron, you know the guy who leads the NBA in minutes at 37.6 per game in his fourteenth season. He’s proven he can score, rebound, and wait for it…make PLAYS, and hmm what did GM LeBron ask for? Oh yeah, a playmaker! It was just in the 2013-14 season with the Indiana Pacers that Stephenson average 13.8ppg 7.2rgp and 4.6apg coming from the small forward position. Any guesses on who lead the NBA in triple-doubles that season? Yup, you guessed it. Lance “ear blower” Stephenson. Granted he only had 5 and it was a down year for triple doubles, but a triple double isn’t exactly an easy thing to accomplish and that was just three seasons ago.
Now I know what you’re probably also thinking- JR Smith and Lance Stephenson on the same team. Crickets. BUT let us remember who was it that turned around JR Smiths life, basketball career and turned him into an above average NBA defender? LeBron James. Who’s to say he can’t take Lance under his wing and do the same. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t tell you why or how Lance fell off the face of the earth so quickly, but I do know one thing. If there’s someone that can motivate him and help him reach his full potential- it’s LeBron James. And, if there is an organization where he can contribute and vie for an NBA championship it’s the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Another plus is that they can actually afford him and easily sign him to the veteran’s minimum. Yes, let’s not forget there’s a salary cap in basketball and that the Cavs also already have the most money on the books. Now I’m not saying he will fix every one of their problems because he won’t. Lance is a great passer and an extraordinary rebounder for his size, who at the minimum, could make plays for his teammates and provide a spark for them off the bench. Why not sign him to a ten-day contract? The prospect of inking the Brooklyn-born product carries minimal risk with decent potential upside. I’m a fan. I’m also not saying he’s their only option by any means. But he’s a lot better option than the likes of thirty-six-year-old Kirk Hinrich or Mario Chalmers coming off an Achilles tear. Yikes.
If they choose not to go for Lance I wouldn’t mind them signing Free Agent Nate Robinson. Robinson is someone who can score, make plays, and if there is one thing that little man has is heart, something the Cavs could use tremendously. Another guy I actually like is Deron Williams. I know he’s not what he used to be by any stretch but he can still make plays, averaging 7.1 assists per game (that’s more than Kyrie by the way). Williams is due 9 million this year so they would have to work something out contract wise with Dallas, but considering they don’t have a viable backup point guard he’s a huge upgrade. Also with Smith out and Korver’s shooting suspect of late, they could even have Williams start and then push Kyrie to the 2, a position I think he would excel at with his shooting ability.
I would take a stab at Lance, try to trade for Deron, and if all else failed sign Nate Robinson. The bottom line is the Cavs need a roster upgrade if they want to even hang with possibly the greatest team ever assembled. God, I cringe just thinking about that team.