Since the Kyrie Irving trade was finalized almost a month ago, the Cavaliers front office was quiet. Then rumors picked up over this past weekend that Carmelo Anthony would extend his trade list, which included the Cavaliers. There was an offer on the table that included Tristan Thompson and a second round pick for Melo. The trade rumor was interesting and surprised some people that the Cavaliers did not pull the trigger. After Melo was shipped to OKC, the next thing the Cavaliers were looking forward to was media day.
Media day was interesting to say the least, with James and Love getting asked about their new teammates roles and about the Kyrie trade. The day was nothing out of the ordinary. NBA fans were rejoiced that the season is less than three weeks away and seeing new players on their teams made the day great. Then something interesting happened that has been talked about for the past several months during the offseason. Dwyane Wade and the Chicago Bulls reached an agreement for a buyout.
We all knew the possibility of this buyout was high seeing how the Bulls unloaded their roster during the offseason and got younger, but we also knew that the possibility of Wade reuniting with LeBron was inevitable. The three teams that Wade was looking at were the Cavs, Heat and Spurs. The Cavs were the obviously choice for him seeing how the Cavs have been in the Finals for the past three seasons.
Now, after all of the dialogue, it finally gets me to my point. With the Wade deal being finalized Wednesday afternoon, the Cavaliers need to make a couple of roster moves. The shooting guard/small forward situation is a mess. The Cavaliers have six to seven players who can play over twenty minutes at those positions. With Wade signing, the odd man out looks like Iman Shumpert as his role decreased throughout the playoffs last year.
The starting lineup as of opening night would be: Rose, Wade, James, Love, and Thompson. As of now, the bench would consist of Calderon, J.R., Korver, Crowder, Frye, Osman, Richard Jefferson, Shumpert, Tavaras, and Jeff Green. This is all before Isaiah comes back hopefully by January or before the All-Star break. There are many lineups that Lue can play with, but with the acquisition of Wade, there will be limited minutes to go around.
With J.R. Smith most likely going back to the sixth man role, it will keep his minutes down and his productivity should be drastically improved on the offensive side of the ball. Korver will take up minutes in both the SG and SF positions. Lue can go small ball, move LeBron to 4 and Love to 5 or move LeBron to 5 depending on what the opposing lineup. I think the Cavaliers need to aggressively move Shumpert since his contract is taking up $10.4 and $11 million per year over the next two seasons. Some team out there would be willing to take the trade hit. It could create more flexibility in spending during free agency and who we can trade for during the season. A couple of other moves I could see happening in the future are Channing Frye or Richard Jefferson being dealt to make a Shumpert trade possible. By getting rid of expiring contracts for more assets in the future would make the most sense for the upcoming season seeing how we have many pieces in place that can help us defeat the Warriors come June.