How Cleveland Cavaliers Can Spend Their 2014 Money Other Than on LeBron James

Greg SwartzCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterMarch 28, 2013

How Cleveland Cavaliers Can Spend Their 2014 Money Other Than on LeBron James

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    The summer of 2014 will be a huge one for the NBA with many of the game's top stars set to hit the free agent market.

    With names like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dirk Nowitzki and others all potentially available, teams that have set themselves up for cap space may be handsomely rewarded.

    One of these teams is the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Having chosen to begin their rebuilding project through the draft and not free agency, the Cavs will have an estimated $29 million in cap space in 2014 according to hoopsworld.com.

    While there is a chance LeBron James could sign a max contract in a return to Cleveland, this situation isn't likely and not something the Cavs should be banking on.

    There are plenty of other attractive free agents available that would want to play with Kyrie Irving and crew, and here are the top targets the Cavs should pursue.

Luol Deng, SF

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    Free Agent Type: Unrestricted

    2012-13 Stats Per Game: 16.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 14.64 PER

     

    If it's defense on the wing the Cavs crave, they need not look any further than Deng.

    The Chicago Bulls' forward is a master of the craft, and can also do a little scoring and rebounding as well.  Still just 27 years old, Deng should be in his prime and will command another hefty contract. 

    With a team like the Bulls possibly looking at a player like James in free agency again, Deng could be looking for a new home.

    With the plethora of talented small forwards in the Eastern Conference like James, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and others, having a player like Deng who you can stick on them really comes in handy.

    If the Cavs want to turn around their 26th-ranked team defense, Deng would certainly help.

Rudy Gay, SF

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    Free Agent Type: Unrestricted

    2012-13 Stats Per Game: 18.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 14.81 PER

     

    Gay is a dynamic scorer who would create a nearly unstoppable offensive wing with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.

    After acquiring Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies this season, the Toronto Raptors won six of their next eight games.  Gay is someone who never shies away from taking the big shot, and hasn't scored under 18 points per game since his rookie season in 2006-07.

    His three-point shot has taken a hit recently, even though he's shown the ability to connect in the past.  Gay converted nearly 40 percent of his three's in 2010-2011, a career best.

    Playing alongside a star point guard in Irving would do wonders for Gay's game and allow him to spot up more, improving that three-point shot once again.

    The Cavs have more talent to build around for the future than the Raptors, and it's likely that Gay will be looking for a new team come 2014.

Greg Monroe, PF/C

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    Free Agent Type: Restricted

    2012-13 Stats Per Game: 15.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 19.10 PER

     

    Signing Monroe would not only mean adding a tremendous post player to Cleveland, but would also severely hurt the division rival Detroit Pistons.

    Monroe has a qualifying offer of $5.5 million for 2014-15, one that the Pistons will accept and can match, along with any offer for the former Georgetown star.  Cleveland would have to throw a lot of money his way for Detroit not to match, but crazier things have happened.

    Now in his third pro season, Monroe has shown the ability to play both power forward and center at an All-Star level.  He can score, rebound, pass and defend, and is a hard worker any team would like to have.

    Just 22 years old, Monroe can be a building block for a franchise for years to come.

Andre Iguodala, SF

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    Free Agent Type: Unrestricted

    2012-13 Stats Per Game: 12.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 14.83 PER

     

    Iguodala would be a great fit on the Cavs.

    An eight-year NBA veteran, Iguodala is a true iron man in the league and has only missed 27 games in his entire career.

    Able to play either wing position, Iguodala would fit in well on the Cavs due to his experience, knowledge, leadership and all-around game.  His impact on the Denver Nuggets this season has been invaluable, and he helped them reach a win streak of 15 straight games.

    While the stats look nice, a player like Iguodala helps out in many areas that don't show up on the spreadsheet.  He'll be 31 in 2014, but still has a few good years left and will likely command an annual contract less than the $14.7 million he's making this season.

    A three-year deal around $27 million would be fair for both sides and give the Cavs the talent at small forward they need.

Paul George, SG/SF

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    Free Agent Type: Restricted

    2012-13 Stats Per Game: 17.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 17.07 PER

     

    George is quickly becoming an elite talent in the league.

    A great athlete who at 6'8" can play three different positions, George is enjoying a break-out season with the Indiana Pacers.

    A former first-round pick out of Fresno State, George can do a little bit of everything on the court.  Even his three-point shooting has seen a major increase, currently sitting at 37.7 percent.

    Thanks to his athleticism and length, George is also a premier defender.  According to 82games.com, George holds opposing small forwards to a 10.8 PER while registering a PER of 18.6 himself.

    George has superstar potential in the NBA and will likely command a max contract in 2014.  If the Pacers fail to offer such a deal to George, the Cavs definitely should.