Added: Jon Leur (FA), Jeremy Pargo (Trade), Kelenna Azubuike (Trade)
Lost: Antawn Jamison, Anthony Parker, Manny Harris, Semih Erden
Draft: Dion Waiters (1st Round, 4th Overall), Tyler Zeller (1st Round, 17th Overall)
Free Agency Analysis: The Cavs had one of the quietist free agent periods of any team in the league as they continue to shed salary and build through the draft. They let Jamison walk and saw Parker retire, so the team will be even younger next year, but hopefully the loss of two leaders does not hurt too badly. When it came to picking up players they picked up three bottom tier role players. Leur and Pargo can score points and Azubuike is a solid defender, but it would not be wise to expect much out of any of them.
Draft Analysis: As previously stated, the Cavaliers are building through the draft and picked up two very good prospects. They may have taken Waiters a bit early and even though he was a sixth man at Syracuse, he may be the most gifted offensive player in the draft. He is simply an elite scoring threat, able to get to the hoop at will and a very capable jump shooter. He should be their starting shooting guard from day one, but he must work on his passing and conditioning. They then traded the 24th, 33rd and 34th picks for the 17th pick where they selected falling UNC star Tyler Zeller. He was the most NBA ready center in the draft and even though he may not have the upside of others, he knows how to play the game, is a willing defender and a fantastic scorer, with great post moves and a nifty jump shot. The only negative is that they gave up way too much to get him and when a team has as many holes as thee Cavs do, it is not wise to give up three solid picks in a very good draft, as they could have really improved the roster. Expect both players to be long-term starters for the Cavaliers. The team drafted two very good players and a potential star in Waiters, which makes for a great draft.
Best Move: Selecting Waiters
Worst Move: Trading so much for Zeller
2012-13 Forecast: They are still not playoff ready, but they are getting better. Putting Waiters in a backcourt with Kyrie Irving could create one of the most explosive backcourts in the NBA. Also with Zeller joining Anderson Varajeo and talented second year forward Tristan Thompson up front, they have an excellent three man big rotation. They have a great coach and a very talented team, so they should stay in the majority of games, but their inexperience should also be their downfall. Regardless they should be fun to watch. Expect a playoff run in 2013.
Overall: After a great draft they had a relatively boring free agency, but they saved their cap space which is always wise for a rebuilding team. Overall they had a very good off-season. Many did not like the decision to draft Waiters so early, but he has star potential, which cannot be said for any other player in the draft outside of Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd Gilchrist, which is worth the gamble. The team keeps getting younger, but more talented and continue adding great pieces. Another very good off-season for the Cavaliers.