When the Cleveland Cavaliers traded for power forward Kevin Love, the most obvious attribute that he brought to the table are his unbelievable skills on offense. There also is no denying that he is an outstanding rebounder as evidence of his 12.2 rebounds per game career average. With that said, the Cavaliers have admitted that they still are missing a critical piece defensively.
“I think he’s an elite defensive rebounder,” Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said in an interview with Jay Mohr on Fox Sports Radio. “I have concerns relative to our ability to protect the rim, and that’s not just a Kevin question. We’re going to need to add that. But I don’t have any concerns about Kevin’s ability to be in the right place at the right time from a team defensive perspective. His basketball IQ’s fantastic. And I think he’s been really open about the fact that he’s bringing a focus to that end of the floor that maybe he didn’t do before.”
The hope is that Love will improve defensively while in Cleveland, which is certainly something that must happen if the team intends to win its first NBA championship in franchise history. Even though Love is capable on defense, the Cavaliers know that they need to acquire someone who can protect the paint. With so much on the line this season, it would be foolish for Cleveland to bank on one of the players on the current roster to handle the job. For that reason, bringing in someone to be essentially a defensive specialist is a good idea.
As far as a trade is concerned, that ship has pretty much sailed. The Cavaliers don’t have any pieces that they intend to give up anytime soon. Therefore, the only way to add a player is through free agency.
Ekpe Udoh is someone who has shown a lot of progress over the past two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. Considering Milwaukee has no intention of re-signing him, he is open to inking a deal with a team that is willing to give him a chance. To be perfectly clear, Udoh is not a dominant defensive machine. However, his long arms give him the ability to be a consistent shot blocker, which is something Cleveland needs in the paint.
Do not expect the Cavaliers to make any hasty moves anytime soon. With that said, Griffin definitely intends on upgrading his roster a little more in the very near future.