LeBron James never ceases to amaze and even now, on the verge of his 15th season in the NBA, he’s still able to almost single-handedly lead a team the distance, taking the Cavs to the Finals for the 4th straight year.
Even though, some people believe that James’ relationship with the team’s ownership is broken beyond repair and that he wouldn’t mind leaving the team after opting out of the last year of his contract.
Nonetheless, other reports point towards James staying put at the Land in order to protect his legacy, so assuming he does stay, let’s take a look at 10 veteran players that could be really helpful for his team next season.
Note: due to Cleveland’s cap situation, they would all have to take the vet minimum.
10. Zach Randolph
If the Cleveland Cavaliers wind up trading away Tristan Thompson as rumors state, they would need to fill the void he leaves when it comes to grabbing the offensive board, and that’s where Zach Randolph may come very handy for this team.
Z-Bo has made a career out of using his body to gain and maintain position in both ends of the hardwood and age hasn’t taken away any of his grit and scoring touch from within the close and mid-range, and he would love to retire as an NBA Champion.
9. Vince Carter
If anybody deserves to win an NBA Championship, that’s Vince Carter for sure, and even despite his age, he’s proven that he can be a great offensive contributor off the bench due to his consistent shooting stroke and never-ending athleticism.
Carter could be a major factor like Richard Jefferson was during their Championship run, and he’d be way better off chasing a Championship rather than just playing for a sluggish rebuilding team as the Kings.
8. Marco Belinelli
Marco Belinelli had quite a solid year with both the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers, and even though he’s not much of a switchable defender and is a major liability at that end of the floor, he would provide a much needed consistent stroke from three-point land.
The Italian veteran would be a major upgrade over a borderline washed out JR Smith for sure, and he would be a great threat off the ball with his constant cuts and LeBron driving to the lane in pick and pop situations.
7. Arron Afflalo
Arron Afflalo’s career has taken a major downfall, mostly because he’s never been able to actually play for a good team and his talents have gone to waste, especially now with the rebuilding and young looking Kings.
Afflalo can do a little bit of everything and is a very smart player that would thrive on a lesser role with the Cavs as Jeff Green is doing right now, and he’d be a nice fit playing next to the King for the last passage of his career.
6. Greg Monroe
Not so long ago, Greg Monroe was quite a promising big man that dominated both sides of the glass in Detroit, but ever since going to the Bucks, his career really went down and so did his playing time.
Now, he’s struggled to adapt to Brad Stevens system and is a major defensive liability, but his offensive rebounding skills and nice face-up game would come quite handy for a Cavs team that struggles to dominate the glass.
5. Boris Diaw
Boris Diaw hasn’t been on the league for a while but he would reportedly love to have another shot at an NBA Championship, and join LeBron James would pretty much guarantee him an easy path to the Finals in the Eastern Conference.
Diaw has never excelled with speed or athleticism, but he’s a terrific ball handler and willing facilitator, a committed rebounder and even an underrated shooter from distance, and would give them a lot of versatility in small ball lineups.
4. Jamal Crawford
Jamal Crawford has already declined his player option to stay beyond this season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and several reports stated that he actually wanted to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers the past season.
The Seattle native is one of the league’s greatest sixth men ever and his presence would allow Jordan Clarkson to play off the ball in the second unit, where he’s been way more effective than as a primary ball handler.
3. Tony Parker
Tony Parker recently shocked the world after pointing out that he may actually leave the San Antonio Spurs during the summer after being demoted to a substitute role by Gregg Popovich, and he’d have it quite easy in the Eastern Conference if he wants to make another Finals run.
Parker isn’t nearly as good as he used to be, but he’s still one of the smartest playmakers in the world, and he’d definitely take a lot of pressure off James’ shoulder when it comes to running the team’s offense.
2. Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics were pretty much the main reason why LeBron James bailed on the Cavs and joined forces with Wade and Bosh, and there has always been bad blood between both parties.
Having said that, it’s been quite clear that Rondo doesn’t like the Warriors and would love to have the opportunity to get another ring on his hands, so he could just bury the hatchet and run the Cavs’ offense. Also, he proved this year that he’s nowhere near done, and the Cavs would love to have his suffocating backcourt defense against Curry for sure.
1. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony has always been closely tied with LeBron James, so he would love the possibility of finally joining forces with one of his closest friends and have the chance to actually compete for an NBA Championship.
In order for this to happen, he would have to agree to a buyout with the Oklahoma City Thunder and most likely embrace a lesser role off the bench, although he’s constantly admitted that he has no intentions whatsoever of leading the second unit.