As the Cavaliers head towards the start of training camp in a few weeks the final roster is still uncertain. This week we will be taking a look at the roster by position as it stands today starting with the guards.
The blockbuster Kyrie Irving trade certainly shook up the point guard position with Isaiah Thomas coming aboard to replace Irving as the starting point guard once he is recovered from his hip injury. Who will replace Thomas during his rehab process? Let’s take a look at the current crop of guards on the roster.
Isaiah Thomas is coming off of a career season with the Boston Celtics in which he averaged 28.9 points per game. He was acquired by Cleveland in the blockbuster Kyrie Irving trade. Thomas is currently recovering from a hip labrum tear suffered late last season. There is currently no timetable for his return as he rehabs with the Cavaliers team doctors. Once healthy Thomas will no doubt start at point guard and give the Cavaliers a high scoring option at the position. Thomas should flourish playing with Lebron James and will see many more open looks with the Cavaliers.
Derrick Rose was signed to a one year $2.1 million dollar veteran’s minimum contract by the Cavaliers to be their backup point guard. Rose is coming off of a nice 2016/2017 season with the Knicks in which he averaged 18 points per game in 64 games. He is looking to re-establish himself with the Cavaliers while playing for a chance at his first NBA championship. Rose will start at point guard until Thomas is ready to play. Once Thomas returns he and Rose should form a very solid point guard duo.
Jose Calderon was signed by the Cavaliers to a one year veteran’s minimum contract at the start of the free agent signing period. In 41 games split between the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks he averaged 3.4 points and 2.1 assists per game. It’s unclear how much Calderon has left in the tank. He is still capable of hitting outside shots and does not turn the ball over. Calderon will be pressed into duty early on as the backup point guard to Derrick Rose while Isaiah Thomas rehabs.
J.R. Smith is coming off of a disappointing 2016/2017 season with the Cavaliers in which he averaged only 8.6 points per game which was his lowest since the 2005/2006 season. He also shot a career low 35% from three point range. Smith did have some injury issues which limited him to 41 games and kept him from getting into a comfortable rhythm. When healthy Smith is still one of the most dangerous shooters in the league. He will look to bounce back this season and should once again be the Cavaliers starting two guard.
Iman Shumpert is coming off of his best shooting season of his career in 2016/2017 with Cleveland. He shot a career high 41% from the field including 36% from three point range. Of course Shumpert is more known for his defense and remains the Cavs strongest defender at the guard position. Shumpert’s role on the 2017/2018 Cavs team remains a question mark. The Cavs are deep at the guard position and the possibility remains that Shumpert could be traded before the start of the season as the Cavaliers have been shopping him this offseason.
Korver is coming off a very strong second half to his 2016/2017 season after being traded to the Cavaliers from Atlanta on January 7th, 2017. In 35 games with Cleveland Korver averaged 10.7 points per game while leading the league shooting 49% from three point range. He signed a 3 year $22 million dollar deal to return to Cleveland and will play an integral role once again off of the bench this coming season.
John Holland signed the Cavaliers first two-way NBA/G-League contract with Cleveland. Holland was the NBA G-League Impact Player of the Year last season with the Canton Charge in which he averaged 22.9 points per game. Holland spent training camp with the Cavaliers last season and impressed the coaching staff averaging 10.7 points in the preseason. He will begin the season with Canton but can spend up to 45 days with the Cavaliers.