All I can say to that is, whew, that was a close one. Thank you Nicolas.
According to a story in Sunday’s issue of The Oregonian, 16 teams called Batum’s agent to see about signing him in the off-season. While the Minnesota Timberwolves received most of the attention at the time for going after Batum, the Cavs reportedly made the highest offer for the 23-year-old from France.
The 6-8 forward scored 13.9 points per game last season, while also averaging 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He can score inside and outside, and knocked down 39 percent of his three-point attempts last season.
Portland plans on having Batum handle the ball, while also having him post up, play pick and roll, and run through screens to get open for shots on the perimeter. He is a very talented young player, and he could turn into a very good player in Portland.
But is he worth the Cavs paying him $52 million now?
In his four seasons in Portland, he has improved his rebounding and scoring averages each year, but he has been inconsistent from game to game. Last season he only started 34 of the 59 games he played in, and is not a lock to be a star player. He could be a star, but he also could be one of many talented players who never fulfils his promise and instead eats up a lot of the salary cap.
By signing Batum, the Wine and Gold would have been committed to making him one of the building blocks for the next few years, and they would have been limited in contract offers they could make to other free agents, as well as their own players.
Instead, the Cavs signed CJ Miles, who can play guard and forward, and the team is now paying him $4 million over two years.
Miles has played seven NBA seasons and has averaged 8.4 points per game, along with 2.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists. His statistics are a little lower than Batum’s and he has not exactly been the model of consistency either, but Miles looked great in the preseason and appears to be a good fit for the Cavs. It was smart to sign Miles, as he can be a veteran presence that the team sorely needs, and he can be a versatile player.
Miles looks like he should be a solid part of the Cavs rotation, and his relatively low contract still allows the team to go after other players, while also building through the draft.
And if he is not a great fit, the Cavs’ aren’t tied down by his contract and can let him go after two seasons.
Miles is not going to get as much attention this season as Batum, who received a $44 million contract from Portland, but Cavs fans should be happy that Miles is the free agent the team was able to sign.