Cavaliers Rumors: TJ Warren, Tyus Jones Interest CLE in NBA Free Agency

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 30, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 13:  Tyus Jones #21 of the Memphis Grizzlies dribbles the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals at Chase Center on May 13, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly expected to pursue forward T.J. Warren and guard Tyus Jones when the free-agency period kicks off at 6 p.m. ET Thursday.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com listed Warren and Jones among the top targets the Cavs could pursue as they look to bolster their roster, though their chances of landing both players are slim.

Cleveland can only offer its mid-level exception (starting salary of around $10.5 million) and bi-annual exception ($4.1 million) to free agents.

Jones will command a salary that eats up all of—if not more than—the mid-level and is reportedly looking for an expanded role. The Cavs can't offer much more than the same role he had in Memphis since Darius Garland is manning the point guard spot, and the Grizzlies can offer more in compensation for Jones to return.

It would take a significant downturn in Jones' market for him to wind up in Cleveland's price range.

Warren is a more realistic option, given he's coming off a foot injury that cost him all but four games over the last two seasons. He was fully recovered by the end of the 2021-22 season, but the Pacers kept him out of the lineup as he prepared for free agency. As Indiana settles into what will be a multiyear rebuild, it's unlikely Warren returns to the Pacers.

The Cavs could use Warren's scoring prowess on the wing, and the mid-level sounds right as an expected price range. Fedor theorized Cleveland could split its standard mid-level between Warren and Ricky Rubio, who is a strong candidate to return to the Cavs, but that seems highly optimistic.

Signing Warren and then using the bi-annual exception to bring back Rubio could get the job done.