The Runner Sports

NBA All-Star Break: Where Does The Cavaliers Roster Stand?

With the All-Star game coming this weekend, how does the Cleveland Cavaliers roster stand to have the needed players to contend for a repeated title?

If it were not for the multitude of injuries the Cavs have suffered this season, it would be tough to say the Cavaliers could not contend for a second championship.

But the fact is, injuries are part of the game. The Cavaliers have two starters and bench player injured and out for extended periods.

The Injury bug:

It all started when Cavs backup center Chris “Birman” Andersen tore his ACL in a freak accident that occurred December 16, 2016, during practice. He was deemed out for the season and has since been traded to Charlotte to clear the roster spot.

On December 20, 2016, J.R. Smith injured his thumb, had surgery, and has been out ever since, with a reported 3-4 week window expected for his return. The Cavs picked up 3-point specialist Kyle Korver to replace Smith’s production, but not his defense.

On February 11, 2017, Kevin Love complained of a sore knee after a win against the Denver Nuggets. He received an MRI the following day and after a second opinion decided to opt for arthroscopic knee surgery to remove a “loose body.” He has been projected for a six-week recovery period, so he will see the floor before the playoffs and hopefully can regain his game-shape.

That leaves the Cavs down two big men and leaves their frontcourt severely depleted.

The Cavs signed forward Derrick Williams to a 10-day contract to help spell LeBron James’ minutes and help out in the frontcourt off the bench. He has added some needed energy and enthusiasm to the second unit, so most likely he will be signed for the rest of the season or longer.

What the Cavaliers REALLY need at the moment is a frontcourt big man who can rebound well and protect the rim off the bench. The question is, who can the Cavaliers bring in, and can they do it without sacrificing one of their many talented backcourt wing players such as Iman Shumpert.

Activity before the deadline:

As an advocate of Cavaliers G.M. David Griffin, I have total confidence that he will find that diamond in the rough and bring in a needed asset like he did last year by acquiring Channing Frye from the Orlando Magic for next to nothing.

The Cavaliers have needed a backup play-making point guard since the beginning of the season. They acquired 5-foot-8 Kay Felder from Atlanta during the draft for “cash considerations” (around $2,000,000) in an unprecedented move for the 54th pick in the draft. He is still a developing talent, but will need another year before he can work his way into the rotation. He has been good but not great.

I could see the Cavaliers try to trade for a backup point guard (Shelvin Mack?), but the most likely (and easy on the luxury tax) scenario would be to sign a free agent point guard such as Jordan Farmar or Mario Chalmers.

Will we see a blockbuster trade that many have been speculating about, or a few smaller moves that fill needs, while the team as a whole mends their wounds in an effort to be healthy for the playoffs?

We have almost exactly one week before the deadline. The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, February 23 at 3:00 pm ET.