Now that the dust has settled from the 2022 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers will turn their focus to free agency and the summer trade market.
The Cavs could still use help and depth in a few different areas.
Could Memphis’ Kyle Anderson be the answer?
Feeling the Squeeze
If teams like the Philadelphia Sixers and Cleveland Cavaliers are in need of depth this offseason, the Memphis Grizzlies are a model in available hands.
And at the 2022 draft, the Grizz continued searching for ways to pad their coffers.
The first 14th overall pick in Cavaliers history, Ochai Agbaji.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 24, 2022
But to add three more, the Grizzlies will likely have to send someone packing.
“[T]hese are not the moves one would expect a team to make if the likelihood existed of Kyle Anderson coming back. LaRavia, in particular, seems plug-and-play as a backup 4 who can mimic some of SloMo’s functions.”
Anderson had a solid 2021-22 season for the Grizzlies.
He was relegated to a bench slot last campaign, having started all 69 games that he appeared in the season before.
As a result, his shooting numbers dipped, dropping from 46.8% to 44.6% from the field and from 36% to 33% from three.
Perhaps most concerning is Anderson’s dropoff in free throw percentage; two years ago, Anderson made 78.3% of shots from the charity stripe; last season, that number plummeted to 63.8%.
Granted, Anderson’s free throw and shot volume dropped precipitously last season, a major reason behind his weakened percentages.
Defensively, Anderson is a solid contributor, with a defensive rating of 107.9 over the last three seasons, per StatMuse.
Okoro and Caris LeVert both posted significantly worse defensive ratings last season (112.7 and 116.1, respectively).
Start or Sit?
It’s no secret that Cleveland’s biggest offseason question will be whether Collin Sexton returns.
Sexton is set to be a restricted free agent this summer.
But regardless of whether Sexton returns, the Cavs need depth at wing.
As a starter, Kyle Anderson could essentially act as what the Cavs always hoped Okoro would become.
As a bench player, Anderson would certainly fill a need as well.
He may not put up the same numbers as he would if he started, but he would maintain a level of defense that Caris LeVert and Isaac Okoro cannot.
Add in the fact that Anderson would be cost-effective, as well.
The Cavs could likely use their mid-level exception to bring in Anderson.
The Finals this year demonstrated something that is becoming a universal truth in the NBA: wings win games.
— Cavs France (@CavsFRA) June 28, 2022
The Warriors defeated the Celtics in part because Golden State could throw more positionless wings at Boston.
Boston, for their part, also had wing depth, but not enough to keep pace with the Warriors.
If the Cavaliers want to ensure a deep playoff run, they need competent wings that will get them through the first few rounds of the playoffs.
Kyle Anderson could be an excellent option.