The NBA Season is over. That means the #SeasonOfHuh now transitions into the #OffSeasonOfExcitement for the Cleveland Cavaliers. This NBA Off-Season could change the the future of the Cavs and the NBA. We have covered One Perfect Scenario here and Another Here. We also this morning discussed LeBron James options, which we broke down as only 2 choices. Check out those 3 articles, and each will open in a new window. Today we will go through decisions in timeline order starting with the #1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft:
With the First Pick in the 2014 NBA Draft the Cleveland Cavaliers…
trade the pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves along with Tristan Thompson for Kevin Love. The Cavs take the Boston Celtics route trading for a superstar player to join their current superstar. The T’Wolves could have more quantity options but with the Cavs offer they get a power forward to replace Love and the #1 pick in the best draft in a decade. The T’Wolves can draft either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker as their superstar of the future to go along with Ricky Rubio, Thompson, Nikola Pekovic, Shabazz Muhammad and their #13 pick.
The Cavaliers get to keep much of their young core that can grow together while adding Love’s shooting and rebounding. Thompson is a necessary for both the T’Wolves to add to their roster and an acceptable loss for the Cavaliers who want to build a different roster fit. With Love at the 4 spot the Cavs can create the type of shooting that David Griffin wants. Love could choose to leave in a year but the Cavs take the risk to try to establish a core of talented players. Love along with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters gives the Cavs some high quality offensive talent. Yet the Cavs have will still need to add to their defensive side of the floor, leading to…
The Bucks need to get out from Sanders contract and getting a first round pick for him is a great get. With Sanders contract the Bucks know they could be stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they select Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins, whoever the T’Wolves, in our situation, doesn’t select, then Sanders could still be welcome. Selecting Joel Embiid would make him much more expendable. The Bucks have new ownership who might want to get out from under that contract and would look for the best deal to make that happen. The Bucks could be interested in Jarrett Jack to lead their back court. The Cavs could be interested in moving Jack but that could bring in more back court help via free agency.
For the Cavs the need for a rim protector is clearly a need with Irving, Waiters and Love not noted for their defense. Sanders could focus on protecting the rim and finishing alley oop passes. While Sanders contract is large the Cavs could still have salary cap space from moving a few pieces in this trade. The Cavs also have plans to be competitive for the next few years and have Dan Gilbert’s money to spend. Adding Love and Sanders to the front court along with Irving and Waiters would give the Cavs great players at 4 of the starting 5 positions. The Cavs will have to get creative, trading Anthony Bennett or cutting Anderson Varejao, to do so but will still have cap space to sign a starting level small forward…
The Cavaliers sign LeBron James
The Cavs finish the Celtics efforts by bringing in the 3rd star for their team. James sees Love and Irving as perfect long term partners to form a younger Big 3 along with the depth with Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller, Sergey Karasev and others. James is surrounded by shooting and playmaking as well as Sanders to lock down the interior. James sets the tone on the defensive end and can help both Irving and Waiters develop as players.
For the Cavs the Return of the King is too good to pass up on, and was the end goal of the previous 2 moves. The Cavs surround James with a far better roster then he had at anytime in Cleveland and a far younger and deeper roster then any he had in Miami. Having a number of young players also means James could finish his career in Cleveland as the roster continues to develop. James coming over would give the Cavs a better pick from Miami next year as well. With that selection and the Memphis Grizzlies pick the Cavs could have two mid 1st round picks in ’15 even while competing for the Conference Finals. Their pick goes to the Bucks but would be late in the first.
How do you feel about a starting 5 of Irving, Waiters, James, Love and Sanders with still some young depth coming off the bench.