The Cleveland Cavaliers could not enhance their team with a player of Kevin Durant’s caliber, but they have spared no expense in acquiring every capable role player to bolster a title defense.
The Cavs are in talks to acquire buyout candidates Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut, two players who could reliably spell Cleveland’s starters during the playoffs. After losing veterans like Matthew Dellavedova and Timofey Mozgov, the Cavs were left with little veteran depth outside Richard Jefferson and Iman Shumpert.
General manager David Griffin has rejuvenated the bench, adding Derrick Williams and sharpshooter Kyle Korver. The acquisitions of Deron Williams and Bogut would provide further help, ensuring that untested youngsters like Jordan McRae and Kay Felder are not thrown into a tense playoff situation.
While Williams and Bogut are past their respective primes, they are far more than serviceable to play a handful of minutes. With key injuries to Kevin Love and J.R. Smith–and LeBron James tackling a boatload of minutes–these late arrivals should ease the burden closing out the regular season, as well.
Korver, who was recently acquired himself, made a big push to grab Deron Williams. "He wants to be a part of an opportunity to win a championship," Korver said. "And just being here the whole time I've been here, and just seeing where there are some of the holes, or not holes, but where we can be better and knowing who he is and his skill set, I think it's an incredible fit.
Bogut played sparingly with the Dallas Mavericks, where he battled a number of injuries before being shipped to the Philadelphia 76ers at the trade deadline. Williams, on the other hand, has averaged 13.1 PPG and 6.9 APG. In 40 games with Dallas, Williams played nearly 30 minutes a night, but that number should come down closer to 20 minutes in Cleveland.
The Cavs (40-17) currently have a three-game edge on the Boston Celtics. The next closest competitors are the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors, both of whom are six games back of Cleveland with roughly 25 games left to play.