Blogtable: Which team should sign free agent Mario Chalmers?
NBA.com staff reports
One free agent who remains unsigned is point guard Mario Chalmers, who’s recovering from a torn Achilles. Assuming a full recovery, which team makes the most sense for Chalmers?
David Aldridge: The Clippers. L.A. has to find someone to lower Chris Paul’s minutes, so he’s not worn down to the nub by the playoffs. Austin Rivers is best used off the ball. The Clips got some good play off their bench last season when they went to three guards, with Pablo Prigioni handling the ball and Rivers and Jamal Crawford moving simultaneously. Chalmers could help the Clips continue those actions this season, with Mo Speights taking over for Cole Aldrich.
Steve Aschburner: Cleveland announced that rookie Kay Felder would back up Kyrie Irving as its point guard. That’s not enough for the defending champions, even if Irving has the most durable season of his career. LeBron James was Chalmers’ tough-love mentor in Miami and they got to four Finals and won two rings together, so the Cavs are a no-brainer choice here. If it’s playing time he prefers, someplace like New Orleans or Philadelphia figures to have more available.
Fran Blinebury: Considering the talent they already have as the class of the Eastern Conference that gives them the ability to wait out a full recovery, the Cavaliers might make the most sense to bring him aboard for a playoff run.
Scott Howard-Cooper: That’s a little too much reading into the future for me. If we don’t know when Chalmers will be ready, there is no way to know what rosters around the league, particularly the point guard depth charts, will look like. That’s months away. I’ll say this, though. It makes sense that he would be linked to Cleveland. The Cavaliers are apparently going with a rookie, Kay Felder, as Kyrie Irving’s backup, so veteran insurance for the playoffs will be a welcome security blanket. The Cavs could tell Chalmers to focus everything on being ready for the postseason, rather than needing much of a contribution as he works his way back.
Shaun Powell: The easy answer is Cleveland if only because LeBron James needs someone to scream at. Remember, the Cavs lost Matthew Dellavedova to free agency and Mo Williams retired, so the depth at point guard isn’t the best right now.
John Schuhmann: Cleveland is an obvious destination. They say know that they’re complete with J.R. Smith under contract, but they’re underplaying how important Matthew Dellavedova was to them, not necessarily in The Finals, but over the course of the season. Memphis is a possibility, unless the Grizzlies think Wade Baldwin is ready to be the full-time back-up.
Sekou Smith: Veteran point guards with Rio’s history are not exactly falling out of the sky, so I imagine there will be several teams interested in his services. He has history with LeBron James, of course, so Cleveland could be an option. But the ideal fit could be in Sacramento, where the Kings aren’t as settled as I’m sure Dave Joerger would like. He knows what Chalmers can bring in a pinch and understands how to fit him into his system, having done so last season in Memphis before Chalmers went down with that Achilles injury.
Ian Thomsen: If the Kings haven’t filled out their depth at point guard — a position that Ty Lawson clearly has not stabilized — then maybe he will find a new home in Sacramento. They could use an experienced NBA winner.
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