One of the few bright spots during the Cleveland Cavaliers season was the explosiveness that small forward Alonzo Gee displayed off the bench. From rattling the rims from “throwing the hammer down” to his, at times, careless ball handling, Gee made himself a hot commodity on the free agent market this season.
Teams like the Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons and the Cavaliers have shown interest in signing Gee this offseason, but since he is a restricted free agent Cleveland has the possibility of matching any offer that any NBA team throws his way. Right now it seems as if the Suns are the leading candidates to sign Gee, offering him a multi-year contract that would be worth around $4 million per season.
However, is it in the Cavaliers interest to resign the wingman? Right now it all depends which way the ping pong balls roll, whether it be in Cleveland’s favor or not. The prize in this year’s draft is ultimately Anthony Davis, no matter who wins the first pick. If Gee isn’t signed to a team by the NBA Draft Lottery on May 30, which is highly unlikely, then we will have a much better look as to if the Cavaliers will use their money to sign Gee to a contract.
If the Cavaliers end with a pick anywhere in the top four then I believe that Gee’s time in Cleveland will be over for now. There are many wingmen, including the very talented Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who, if drafted by the Cavaliers, would come in right away and make an impact as a starter. Gee, however, is at best a starter on a very bad team.
Averaging 10.6 points and 5.1 rebounds last season Gee could have been more aggressive on the boards, something the Cavaliers are looking for in a depleted position on their team. Gee was also very quick to go to the hoop before settling for a jumper, something that he failed to develop throughout this season. Not saying that his aggressiveness in getting to the hole wasn’t appreciated this season, but the Cavaliers can look to free agency for a cheaper option.
Gee also experienced difficulties with ball handling this season, averaging a career-high 1.8 turnovers. That’s with Gee not being a primary ball holder for the Cavaliers, so that says a lot about what he makes of the opportunities he has with the ball in his hand.
With all that put aside I feel like Gee is the perfect asset for the Cavaliers to have on their bench. It doesn’t matter to me if Gee takes the ball to the hole seven or eight times a game, as long as he’s effectively producing on the offensive side of the ball and not turning over the ball as much as he did this past season, I think the Cavaliers should give him a shot.
Bringing in new players into head coach Byron Scott’s system has proved to be a struggle for most players. Whether it’s the complexity of the playbook (can’t really see it being this) or a player’s unwillingness to engulf themselves in studying the plays, Gee has to prove that he’s ready to be a staple in the Cavaliers organization. If Dan Gilbert and company decide to bring him back, he’s going to have to train very hard and work on some fundamentals of basketball that he has struggled with.
Gee’s hustle and heart on the court this season should merit him a deal with the Cavaliers, but the rebuilding process can lead to parting ways with players who you thought would definitely be around for an extended period of time. Talks will progress this month over Gee, so we’ll just have to wait and see who makes the first move. Stay tuned to Right Down Euclid for followup on Gee’s status.