Report: Mario Chalmers and Kirk Hinrich to work out with Cleveland

FILE — Former Memphis Grizzlies guard Mario Chalmers (6) plays in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

FILE — Former Memphis Grizzlies guard Mario Chalmers (6) plays in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

LeBron James isn’t happy with the state of Cleveland’s roster, what with the defending NBA champions going 7-8 in January. Perhaps adding a former Kansas basketball player to the mix will appease The King.

ESPN’s Chris Haynes reports a pair of free-agent Jayhawks, Mario Chalmers and Kirk Hinrich, will work out with the Cavaliers Wednesday.

James last week went public with his concerns about the team’s lack of depth, stating the Cavaliers need another experienced play-maker. Chalmers, who tore his right Achilles while playing with Memphis in March of 2016, long served as a role player on James’ championship teams in Miami. The 30-year-old guard has spent the past several months rehabbing, with the possibility of pouncing on this type of mid-season opportunity in mind.

Unlike Hinrich, who played sparingly for Chicago and Atlanta during the 2015-16 season, Chalmers remained a key contributor when last he appeared in the NBA. Though Miami had moved on from the former KU standout, he thrived in Memphis as a backup guard in a scoring role.

by Mario Chalmers

In 55 games with the Grizzlies before suffering a season-ending injury, Chalmers averaged 10.8 points and 3.8 assists in just 22.8 minutes off the bench, while shooting 41.7% from the floor and 32.6% from 3-point range.

How close his Achilles is to 100 percent, only Chalmers knows, but this will give him a chance to prove he can still make plays in the league. And if Cleveland decides to sign Chalmers, it would give him a chance to help the Cavs chase another championship.

ESPN reports Lance Stephenson and other free agents will attend the workout, too, as the organization looks to fill an empty roster spot and give James and company some bench support.

FILE — Former Chicago Bull Kirk Hinrich, right, and Charlotte Hornets' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, left, chase a loose ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

FILE — Former Chicago Bull Kirk Hinrich, right, and Charlotte Hornets' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, left, chase a loose ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Hinrich, now 36, played a career-low 13.7 minutes last season and didn’t generate much interest in free agency this past summer — when teams had to pass on Chalmers because he was just a few months removed form a major knee injury.

In 11 games with Atlanta last season, Hinrich only played 6.9 minutes a game and made just 2 of his 11 shot attempts while contributing mostly at practices and behind the scenes.

Just 26, Stephenson might have two young legs up on Chalmers and Hinrich. A year ago, he too proved productive in Memphis, averaging 14.2 points and 2.8 assists. Stephenson signed with New Orleans before the current season began, but didn’t stick after playing just six games.

As long as Chalmers is healthy, odds are he’ll find a spot with a playoff team in the weeks ahead, even if Cleveland goes another direction. He has championship experience and is mature enough to fit in with a new group and take on whatever role is handed to him.

Hinrich, of course, would be a fine addition to any team’s culture and structure. The question for him is whether his body will still allow him to make plays against much younger competition.

Comments

Noel Graham

History has shown that Lebron needs a Jayhawk on the roster to win a championship.

6 months, 3 weeks ago

Report

Josh Galler

true all three. Lance even though not played for KU but he signed before jump to the NBA from HS

6 months, 3 weeks ago

Report

Michael Elliott

Stephenson committed to and played for the University of Cincinnati.

6 months, 3 weeks ago

Report

Joe Joseph

Are you thinking of DeShawn Stevenson?

I get him and Lance confused often, probably because both were in heavy with Kansas prior to making alternate decisions.

6 months, 3 weeks ago

Report

Commenting has been disabled for this item.