Cavaliers Talking To Luke Babbitt, Trevor Booker

The Cavaliers have reached out to free agents Luke Babbitt and Trevor Booker as they try to fill three open roster spots, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

Cleveland saw its salary commitments for 2018/19 take a huge dive when LeBron James signed with the Lakers, but the Cavs still have a payroll of about $109.5MM. That’s over the $101.9MM salary cap, but about $20MM below the tax apron with the full mid-level exception ($8.6MM) and bi-annual exception ($3.3MM) still available.

Babbitt, 29, split last season between the Hawks and Heat. A career 40% shooter from 3-point range, Babbitt’s production fell after a February trade to Miami and he was barely used in the playoffs. Several European teams have expressed interest in signing him if he doesn’t land another NBA contract.

Booker, 30, spent parts of last season with the Nets, Sixers and Pacers. A rugged power forward, Booker had his best season in 2016/17, when he averaged 10.8 PPG and 8.0 RPG for Brooklyn.

No deal is considered imminent with either player, Vardon adds.

One of the Cavaliers’ open roster spots may be reserved for Rodney Hood, who had trouble adjusting to his new role after coming to Cleveland at the trade deadline but is still a valued prospect. He remains part of the plan for the future, a team source told Vardon. Hood is a restricted free agent, and the Cavs can match any offer he receives.

The source adds that Cleveland is “exploring all options” with its resources, including a $5.8MM trade exception from last summer’s Kyrie Irving deal that will expire August 22.

In addition, Vardon relays that there’s nothing new on a rumored trade that would send Kyle Korver to Philadelphia in exchange for Jerryd Bayless. The Cavs may see if they can get more for the 37-year-old marksman before dealing with the Sixers.

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20 thoughts on “Cavaliers Talking To Luke Babbitt, Trevor Booker

  1. With Vegas predicting 26-27 wins next season, these are the kind of players the Cavs can expect without LeBron.

    • Vardon says the Cavs may sign Hood to a contract like the 4 year $52MM similar to what Marcus Smart signed. Booker wouldn’t see much time behind Love, Nance Jr., Thompson, Zizic, and Frye. Babbitt probably wouldn’t see any time at all.

      • I just read yesterday that Kawhi is texting stars to see if he can find a star to play with him and where they want to play. The Golden State players were texting Durant during the season to try and get him to play for the Warriors. LeBron initially pissed Kyrie off when he texted CP3 to come to the Cavs just after they won the championship. I think what LeBron is doing now is recruiting guys who will let him play his game and not get in his way. That’s why he wants Lonzo out.

        • moazetongue

          The Kyrie thing is a rumor only. Anyone that believes the earth is flat ain’t right in the head.

  2. With the salary apron set at $129MM, the Cavs with signing Hood at near $13MM per season would put the Cavs at $122.5MM. The remaing $6.5MM could probably be split with 2 remaining free agents. Clint Capela is only free agent expected to be worth any kind of offer. He’s expected to sign for just under $20MM with the Rockets. If Dwayne Wade doesn’t retire, supposedly he has a “monster offer” in China. Jahill Okafor is reported to be looking in China also.

  3. gronk

    I wouldn’t mind adding Korver for a year in Boston. Obviously a long shot but just a thought.

    • The Cavs offered for a 1st round pick, and Boston said no. They are over the luxury tax, so they’d have to match Korver’s $7MM salary.

  4. x%sure

    Brandan Wright has played 68 games the last 3 years. “Knee soreness”– I wonder if that’s over, or he is over.

    • I’ll root for the Cavs now. I like team basketball. that’s why I like the Pacers, Celtics, Warriors. or Suns. I just don’t think LeBron is a team player or Harden or Westbrook or Kawhi or any of these guys who are all about stats to get max salaries and the MVP. Like Kevin Pritchard says, he’ll take a $12MM guy all day over a $30MM guy. A $12MM guy won’t set you back near as much as a $30MM guy if they fail.

  5. mcmillankmm

    If the Sixers attach two second round picks in a Korver/Bayless swap, I like it for Cleveland, get out of Korver’s partial guarantee in 19/20, Bayless a free agent after 18/19.

    • moazetongue

      I don’t like it for Cleveland. Korver is the consummate pro which is good for a young team. He’s also one of the best 3 point shooters in league history and it remained so last season. Baylee’s is the opposite of that and costs more.

  6. I think the Cavs plan on playing Zizic more this year. Unless they find a sucker for Thompson, their frontline should be set. If they find someone for Korver, and Hood ends up at small forward along with Osman, that leaves J.R. and maybe Bayless at shooting guard, although Clarkson can play there. They are weak at shooting guard again. From what I’ve read, Altman is looking for draft picks not players.

    • moazetongue

      Sexton, Hood, Cedi, Love and Zizic the starting 5. Or they could start TT at c and most likely will. However I’d like to see them develop Zizic.

  7. Agree Zizic should be a priority this year to see how good or not he can be. I still think they should let go Hood,no use for them or any other team.

  8. nentwigs

    If they are able to sign Babbitt, then they will go looking for Costello.

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