Just about every fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers would agree on what the team’s needs are at this point heading into free agency.
Cleveland’s need for productive 3-and-D players is well chronicled, and to that end, it drafted Ochai Agbaji with the 14th pick in last week’s NBA draft.
But it also could really use a backup point guard who is a reliable veteran.
Such a player will not only help keep the Cavs stable when Darius Garland is resting, but he could also serve as a mentor of sorts to him.
They have been rumored to be looking at re-acquiring Ricky Rubio, whom they traded for last summer.
But if Rubio isn’t available, how about taking a look at D.J. Augustin, another second-string point guard who has been around the block a few times?
Augustin Could Be A Solid Choice Off The Bench
We’re not trying to suggest that Augustin, who is 34 and has started just 334 of his 967 career games, would be any sort of game-changer for the Cavs.
But then again, when one is talking about the backup point guard spot, no one should be expecting a game-changer.
While the Cavs are looking to re-sign Collin Sexton, he is more of an off-guard, or at the most, a combo guard, and he is not the type of player who is thinking pass-first or focusing on managing game tempo for the team.
Augustin may not be a true floor general either, but over the years, he has proven to be a decent second-string lead guard.
Shoutout to D.J. Augustin pic.twitter.com/PDnU1dxhBK
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 21, 2022
His career averages of 9.5 points and 3.9 assists per game don’t exactly jump off the page, but per 36 minutes, those numbers increase to 14.6 points and 5.9 assists a game, which is solid.
Per 36 minutes, he has committed only 2.2 turnovers a game for his career, which suggests someone who is responsible with the ball and values possessions.
Augustin also has a lifetime accuracy of 38.1 percent from 3-point range, which means he could help Cleveland with one of its biggest needs: 3-point shooting.
In addition, in 2013 he went to the Eastern Conference Finals as a member of the Indiana Pacers, so if or when the Cavs reach the playoffs next season, he won’t be overwhelmed by the moment.
D. J. Augustin made one of the greatest shots in NBA Playoffs history. Never forget. pic.twitter.com/K8tEvi5zBo
— Jeff WeltGawd (@MagicMan816) August 28, 2021
Another Reason Why Augustin Could Be A Good Choice
Rubio has been a very good distributor throughout his career, and despite missing much of this season due to injury, he still put up 6.6 assists per game.
It may be the biggest reason his contract paid him nearly $18 million this year.
Now, as a free agent, he may be costlier than the veteran’s minimum, which is expected to be between $2 million and $3 million.
If Rubio will command some or all of the mid-level exception, it may be wise for the Cavs to go in a different direction so they can save their money on a wing or frontcourt player.
Augustin, on the other hand, is unlikely to attract as much money as Rubio, and he could be had for the veteran’s minimum salary.