Cavs have decisions to make about McRae

Sam Amico

Jordan McRae has made life interesting for the Cavaliers, and in more ways than one.

McRae erupted as a member of the Cavs' summer team in Las Vegas, scoring with ease. He averaged around 14 points to lead the team in the preseason.

Granted, not everyone played every preseason game -- but that's basically beside the point. McRae showed when he's in an NBA game against NBA talent, he's a capable NBA scorer.

So what did Cavs coach Tyronn Lue do in the season-opening win over New York? Well, Lue called DeAndre Liggins' name before that of McRae.

Like McRae, Liggins is a wiry and athletic wing-type. McRae is the better producer of points; Liggins a superior defender.

This isn't intended to question Lue. Far from it. The man has coached a grand total of 42 regular-season games and already won a championship. It's also hard to get worked up about the rotation when the Cavs pummeled the Knicks by 29 points.

Rather, this is to show that McRae is a promising talent … who is just sort of sitting there.

Lue and the Cavs like him, that's never been in question. A lot of other teams really like him, too. That's why the Cavs have engaged in some conversations centered on McRae.

But right now, no one has seen enough. Not the Cavs, maybe not the fans and apparently not the teams that are expressing interest.

It seems the best the Cavs can get for McRae is a second-round draft pick. Interested teams know the Cavs have very little room (or use) for him at the moment.

McRae has several quandaries himself. J.R. Smith is back and Iman Shumpert is healthy, assuming all goes well with Shumpert's visit to the league's concussion program.

Clearly, Smith and Shumpert have more experience in big games than McRae. His most important moments have all taken place in the D-League. That's great if you're the Orlando Magic, but the Cavs are trying to defend their title. This is no time to focus on developing players.

Along with Smith and Shumpert, Mike Dunleavy and some guy named LeBron James also spend plenty of time on the wing. Of all the players named above, McRae has proven the least in this league.

That's not a knock on McRae. That's just the reality of life in pro basketball. You can only keep so many guys at the same position and there are only so many minutes to go around.

So what do the Cavs do about McRae?

The options are likely to keep waiting, keep wondering and keep watching before Lue and general manager David Griffin make any sort of drastic move.

All of that is probably OK. For now, no move may be the best move.

NOTEBOOK

The Cavs return to practice Thursday after getting a day off. They likely could have used one after the emotional opening night ceremony. … In a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals, the Cavs visit Toronto on Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. … They're back home the next night vs. the Magic. … The Raptors beat Detroit by 18 to open the season Wednesday.

Comments