The Cleveland Cavaliers are still fresh off of their NBA Finals comeback victory over the Golden State Warriors. It was an amazing series to say the least, and it finally brought another professional sports title back to Cleveland. Now, the Cavaliers are switching their attention to the offseason in hopes of adding a piece or two to return to the NBA Finals next season.
LeBron James is a player that most free agents would love to play with and many have taken discounts to sign with the Cavaliers over the past couple of years. There is one free agent in particular that would be a nice fit with Cleveland, although he has a bit of a rocky past with James.
Lance Stephenson is set to hit the open free agency market after the Memphis Grizzlies declined his option. He will be searching for a new team and the Cavaliers seem to be one of the best fits. Justin Rowan of HoopsHabit opined that Stephenson and the Cavaliers would be a perfect fit for both sides.
While it would be interesting to see James and Stephenson as teammates, it would be a big addition for the Cavaliers.
Last season after being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, Stephenson averaged 14.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He shot 47.4 percent from the field and knocked down 35.5 percent of his three-point shots. Those numbers would look very nice in Cleveland, although he would have to carve out a role for himself.
J.R. Smith is a free agent this offseason as well and there is no telling if he will end up re-signing with Cleveland. If he doesn’t end up re-signing, Stephenson’s role would become immediately clear. On the other hand, if Smith does re-sign, Stephenson would have to fight for minutes off the bench.
At 25-years-old, Stephenson is entering the prime of his career and still has room to grow his game. He showed improvement last year after joining the Grizzlies and playing alongside James could bring out the best in him.
There are going to be plenty of other teams interested in signing Stephenson as well. We previously mentioned here at The Inquisitr that the Indiana Pacers could be interested in bringing Stephenson back home where his career began. Cleveland won’t be able to offer as much money as other teams either, which could become a factor.
It will be interesting to see where he ends up, to say the least. Stephenson has had a rough career since leaving Indiana and could view a return as a good option. Orlando could also have interest in signing Stephenson, as head coach Frank Vogel had a great relationship with him during their tenure in Indiana.
All of that being said, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Cavaliers get heavily involved in the chase for Stephenson. His attitude would fit nicely alongside James and his ability to make plays for teammates would be a nice addition as well. Stephenson is also a very aggressive defender, which is an area that the Cavaliers could always use improvement in.
Expect to hear a lot of rumors surround Stephenson and the Cavaliers when free agency opens up. They may not end up talking about a deal at all, but there is a good chance that they will explore the option. Stephenson will be one of the more intriguing players to keep an eye on this offseason to say the least.
Do you think that the Cleveland Cavaliers should pursue Lance Stephenson when free agency opens up? Would he be a nice fit to replace J.R. Smith if Smith decides to leave town in free agency? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/Brandon Dill]