2016 Cleveland Cavaliers

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Cleveland Cavaliers (Last Year: 57-25)

2016-17 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Tristan Thompson/Sasha Kaun

PF: Kevin Love/Channing Frye

SF: LeBron James

SG: Iman Shumpert/Jordan McRae

PG: Kyrie Irving

NBA Free Agents:

SF-LeBron James (PO)

PG-Matthew Dellavedova (RFA)

SG-Jordan McRae (RFA)

SG-J.R. Smith (UFA)

PG-Mo Williams (UFA)

C-Timofey Mozgov (UFA)

SF-James Jones (UFA)

SF-Richard Jefferson (UFA)

2016-17 Team Salary: Approximately $79.3 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Lock Up LeBron: LeBron James could opt out of his contract, but after winning the NBA Championship said he loves Cleveland and has no plans of leaving. Still, you never know what can happen, and management should be doing everything in its power to lock him up to a long-term deal as soon as possible.

2. Fill Out Their Roster: Like they faced a year ago, the Cavaliers must do some bargain shopping to bring in some veterans to add depth across their roster. J.R. Smith, Richard Jefferson and Matthew Dellavedova are the club’s most notable free agents. Jefferson could retire, and Dellavedova is probably due for a bigger payday than Cleveland is wanting to match, but Smith could be retained at a fairly reasonable rate.

From there, Cleveland will need to add another big man, more depth on the wing, and a backup for Kyrie Irving at the point. There will be rumors about the Cavaliers dealing Kevin Love to add depth, but that seems unlikely at this point. With only about $15-18 in available cap space, they have to hope some veterans are willing to take the league minimum in hopes of joining a title contender and making a run at a repeat championship.

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