The Cleveland Cavs added another piece to the puzzle on Wednesday when they were able to sign veteran wing, James Jones. Reports have Jones signing for one year at the league minimum. He only appeared in 20 games with the Miami Heat last season while averaging 4.9 points a game. Jones, 33, is an 11 year veteran with 6-8 frame who specializes in three point shooting. The Cavs have made this a point of focus since landing Lebron James in free agency. With new head coach David Blatt at the helm, it presents as though they are attempting to accumulate players who can spread the floor with their outside shooting. Jones averages over 40 percent from behind the arch in his career and lead the league in “catch and shoot” attempts last season, making 52 percent of them. Jones is a close companion of Lebron’s off the floor as well, to the point that their families vacationed together last summer. James stood up for Jones last May, making a bid to get him more floor time.
Jones is the second of James’ former Heat teammates and close friends to sign on with the Cavs this week. The Cavs were able to acquire Mike Miller in free agency on Tuesday. Miller signed a two year deal worth $5.5 million with a player option after one year. Miller, 34, played an integral role in the Heats two most recent titles. He will be entering his 15th season in the NBA with Cavs after a productive season with the Memphis Grizzlies, in which he remained healthy for the entire season. Miller averaged 7.1 points per game and shot 45.9 percent from three point range. Miller is known as one of the elite spot up shooters in the league and was a favored commodity in free agency after proving that his health wasn’t deteriorating. The mere presence of Miller on the floor will provide the Cavs with the spacing they need for their athletic roster. Miller, like Jones, is 6-8 and can play on the wing and as a stretch four in Blatt’s offense.
Miller will not only be an asset on the floor but is expected to take a leadership role in a young locker room as well. Miller has been praised for his role as a leader by former heat teammate Dwayne Wade and Lebron cited his loss as a key reason why he needed to emerge more as a leader on last season’s Heat team. The Cavs culture surely will be augmented with a new coach and the addition of James, but the inclusion of Jones and Miller could be influential in teaching the younger players on this team how to win. Surrounding James with veteran players that he trusts is an agile way to lessen the burden of mentoring the youthful Cavs. They both provide outside shooting and spacing that will be vital to the Cavs growth. In Coach Blatt’s first season in the NBA, coachable veterans could be the perfect ingredient in allowing him to be heard and influencing the talent to buy in. It has been reported that another of James’ former teammates and friends could follow suit with the Cavs. Ray Allen is said to be weighing retirement and a contract with the Cavs.
By: Brad Ward
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