The Cavs have to upgrade

For those that don't care about the NBA or more specifically the Cleveland Cavaliers, skip this post and keep your pie hole shut. For those that do, let's pray for Chris Bosh.

The offseason for the Cavaliers is a critical one. Not only do they need to fill a lot of spots, but they were exposed badly in the Magic series and need upgrades. The problem is there's not much out there period, let alone upgrades.

The Cavs have the following free agents this year.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Joe Smith
Wally Szczerbiak
Anderson Varejao
Lorenzen Wright

Z and Varejao can opt out but Z would be insane to do so and it looks like Varejao wants to test the market so expect him to opt out on July 1st. If he can find a team willing to pay him $10 million per year then he's gone.

Szczerbiak looks close to done. He'll get nowhere near his $13+ million contract ever again. I think he'll be lucky to get $5+. He's a useful one trick offensive guy to have, but his defense is non-existent. He tries, but sometimes it's painful to watch.

Joe Smith is a good guy to have around, especially if you can get him around the $3 mill/year mark. I'd like to see him come back for next season. He was non-existent in the playoffs though.

Wright was no factor whatsoever and was merely a bench spot filler.

On top of those guys, Ben Wallace is talking about retiring. He's not close to the defender he once was. He has never been an offensive option. Now, with injuries, his body is close to giving out as well. In any case, it's a very long shot that he's with the Cavs next year. His expiring contract is too much of a prize, especially if he retires and takes a buyout. His contract gives the Cavs the ability to trade for a $16 million guy for what could be a buyout price of around $7 million. That's a big savings in todays market when nearly all teams are looking to cut costs.

So after all those guys leave or potentially leave, the Cavs bigs will consist of Z and two rookies. Great. That means they'll need to really do some work in the offseason to rebuild the roster.

Here are some guys I think they should target. I'm not willing to break the bank for any of them, with the possible exception being the guy sitting at my top spot.

1. David Lee - He's young and can be a double-double machine. He isn't that great defensively, but then again the Knicks weren't exactly playing any defense anyway, so he might be better in a better system.

2. Charlie Villanueva - He can score the ball but is a soft defender. He has the desired height, and his ability to create his own shot is a plus, but as the Cavs bigs were exposed in the Orlando series, the ultimate need is for a big that can shoot AND defend. Those aren't exactly easy to come by. If Villanueva can ramp up his defensive effort, then he'd be a good fit.

3. Jermaine O'Neal - A very good defender. Has the height and size that the Cavs need. Could play the 4 if the Cavs went big with him and Z. No longer a go to guy offensively. Settles for outside shots too often. He's just the type of player that the Cavs need defensively though when they play a bigger team.

4. Shawn Marion - He's an on the ball defensive stopper. He can play the 3 or the 4, but certainly isn't an ideal fit at starting power forward. He'd be a nice off the bench guy that could pair up with LeBron when the Cavs go small. He makes way way too much money though, and in order for the Cavs to get him Marion would need to be willing to cut at least 50% off his salary.

5. Marcin Gortat - A big white guy to back up the other big white guy. Would be a good backup center who could play 15-20 minutes a game. Doesn't have ideal size as he'd benefit for more muscle to put on top of is 240 lb frame. Has the necessary height and energy that the Cavs need from a bench guy though.

6. Shelden Williams - A pure energy guy. If Varejao goes elsewhere, then Williams could partially replace him. Not a great offensive player, but a pretty good rebounder and a nice guy coming off the bench. Typically a 15 minute/game guy who will give you about 5 and 5 in that time.

Realistically I think they'll get Villanueva and some scraps and that won't be enough. I'd love for them to pull off some miracle and get Chris Bosh, but that's as likely as Kobe Bryant signing with the Clippers.

And, of course, Boiled Sports

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