The Cavaliers were among the teams mentioned when the Eric Bledsoe trade request first went public, but Cleveland should pass on the Suns guard, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. In response to a reader’s question, Vardon says Bledsoe doesn’t solve the Cavs’ need for shooters and his desire to start would muddle an already crowded backcourt.
Bledsoe shot 43% from the floor and 34% from 3-point range last season and wouldn’t stretch opposing defenses the way the Cavaliers need. Bledsoe and LeBron James were workout partners this summer, so they have a connection, but Vardon doesn’t expect Cleveland to offer any significant assets. Phoenix is looking for young talent and valuable draft picks, and apart from Brooklyn’s unprotected first-rounder, the Cavs don’t have much to offer in those areas.
Sources also tell Vardon the team isn’t interested in Sixers center Jahlil Okafor.
There’s more today out of Cleveland:
- Dwyane Wade won’t rejoin the starting lineup before Isaiah Thomas returns from his hip injury, Vardon adds in the same piece. With Derrick Rose at point guard, the Cavaliers need J.R. Smith starting beside him to provide a 3-point threat. Smith is averaging 5.2 points in nine games this season and struggling with his shot, hitting just .209 from long distance, but he has a history as an effective 3-point shooter. Wade, who hasn’t been much better at .222, started three games at the beginning of the year before asking to be moved to a reserve role.
- Cleveland hasn’t figured out how to handle the loss of Kyrie Irving, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Irving played a key role in winning three straight Eastern Conference titles and posted a career-best 25.2 points per game last season to go with 5.8 assists. He gave the offense an explosive quality that has been missing so far this year. “One thing I did notice at Miami, teams were afraid of us a little bit,” Wade said in comparing his old Heat teams with the Cavs. “Ain’t nobody afraid. Maybe at some point it will get there, but not right now. Everyone’s playing free, it’s early in the year, and everything’s going right for everybody but us. And we’ve got to figure it out.”
- Coach Tyronn Lue has expressed a desire to “play with pace,” but Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com isn’t convinced that’s the best approach for the NBA’s oldest team.