Heading into this offseason, one of the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ biggest needs is a veteran backup point guard.
Darius Garland, the team’s starter at that position, became an All-Star for the first time and appears to be a serious game-changer.
But the Cavs are a very young team overall, and they could use a few veterans to help take them back to the playoffs.
Ricky Rubio was acquired by Cleveland last summer in the hopes that he would be exactly that type of player.
But his shooting percentages were very low, and in December he tore his ACL, ending his season.
Weeks later, the Cavs dealt him to the Indiana Pacers for Caris LeVert.
Rubio will be a free agent this summer, and there have been rumors, even right after the Pacers trade, that he will re-sign with Cleveland.
If #Cavs Ricky Rubio is traded to Indiana in a LeVert deal, he is not likely to play a game for the Pacers, and his #1 signing destination in free agency would be Cleveland, per source.
— Tim Larson (@TimLarsonSports) February 6, 2022
But if Rubio passes on returning to the team, who else can the Cavs turn to in free agency for help at lead guard?
In early January, Cleveland nabbed Rajon Rondo from the Los Angeles Lakers in an effort to replace Rubio after his injury.
He brought the benefit of 15 years of NBA experience, as well as two NBA championship rings to The Land.
In 19.4 minutes a game, Rondo averaged 6.2 points and 4.9 assists per game while shooting an impressive 39.7 percent from 3-point range.
Rondo is very smart and knows the game of basketball extremely well, and while with the Lakers, he almost effectively functioned as an assistant coach at times.
He could be a viable choice to fill the Cavs’ need for a veteran backup point guard, but there is one problem.
Rondo is 36 years of age, and certain aspects of his age, especially his defense, have been on the decline.
Would the Cavs be interested in re-signing him and giving him the second-string point guard role next season?
Dragic, like Rondo, appears to be on the decline, but after he joined the Brooklyn Nets late this season, he showed a bit of spark.
Even though the Nets got swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, Dragic averaged 10.5 points in 19.8 minutes a game while shooting 56.3 percent from the field.
He will turn 36 on Thursday, and perhaps he can’t be relied on for more than spot duty, but he could be an option for depth, or at least insurance.
Dragic has been in the playoffs six times, and he has two trips to the conference finals and one trip to the NBA Finals under his belt.
If the Cavs are willing to sacrifice a bit of experience and resourcefulness for a bit more production, how about Schroder?
After a somewhat disappointing campaign with the Laker last year, he publicly made it known that he was seeking a new contract for at least $20 million a year.
But no one was interested in offering him anything close to that, and he was forced to take a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics for less than $6 million, making him the butt of jokes across the league.
Dennis Schroder really turned down an $84 mil contract from the Lakers and now nobody wants him pic.twitter.com/xny97gOwWB
— Lake Show (@LakeShowFamily) August 6, 2021
Dennis Schroder take this contract instead pic.twitter.com/YmR7JbuYho
— IHateCap (@ImFolarin) June 2, 2021
At mid-season, the Celtics sent him to the Houston Rockets.
If the Cavs can offer Schroder enough money, they can give him the opportunity to play for a team that will have a great shot at making the playoffs, as the Rockets are just starting a long-term rebuilding process.