In honor of it being three days till the Cleveland Cavaliers’ home opener, here are three reasons this year’s roster is better than last year’s.
Yes, the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ regular season is upon us! Just three days remain before we can see the defending champions receive their championship rings and begin their pursuit for back to back championships.
With a new regular season set to begin, there are changes to the Cavs’ roster. Some are more evident than other. They all impacted their run to winning it all last year or are here now to help repeat. Without future ado, these three reasons are improvements on last’s group.
The Cavaliers Added Star-Studded Rookies
Last season, the Cavaliers were full of veterans and trade pick-ups that helped become not only the best team in the east, but NBA Champions. The roster featured of course the “Big Three” in forward LeBron James, power forward Kevin Love, and point guard Kyrie Irving.
It also featured other easily remembered names such as guard J.R Smith, point guard Matthew Dellavadova, power forward Tristan Thompson, and guard Iman Shumpert. Then of course there were the trade pick-ups which featured small forward Richard Jefferson and power forward Channing Frye. The one thing that the Cavs lacked was a stand out rookie.
This year though, the bench will be full of fresh faces including one Kay Felder. Felder is a 5’9 guard from Oakland University who the Cavaliers drafted in the second round in June. Felder has shown his speed, handling, and all-around ball skills in summer league already.
He’s a very confident player who isn’t afraid to play with the big guys. He drives the lane with precision and has a perfected jump shot from mid range. Felder and fellow guard Jordan McCrae lit up summer ball this year. Those two players pose a threat from the bench that no team will be prepared for.
Newest Offseason Pick-ups
The Cavaliers also added some more depth to the floor while being involved in a couple of trades. Cleveland first let center Timofey Mozgov sign with the Los Lakers after a dismal late season performance. They then sign and traded Dellavadova to the Milwaukee Bucks.
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Replacing those players on the roster are center Chris Andersen, formerly of the Memphis Grizzlies via free agency and forward Mike Dunleavy Jr. from the Chicago Bulls via trade. Those two players add some size to an already small roster. At the same time, they bring in some pure talent that they both accumulated from spending several years in the NBA.
Andersen, besides having just as many tattoos as Smith, also brings pure height to the rim protection game and aggression to the offensive side. Dunleavy meanwhile brings wit and pure shooting skill to the court as well. The two put together helps to fill some gaps that some feared in the offseason.
We Still Have LeBron!
The best way to finish this off is by reminding everyone that we still have “The King”, LeBron James. This year, LeBron comes back motivated more than he’s ever been before as he gets to defend a championship in his hometown.
James signed a three-year, $100 million dollar deal this offseason. He will be here for a while, and will most likely retire here since the city and organization is his true love.
James has helped push Cleveland to heights it has never seen before. Plus, remember what they say “Any team that LeBron is on is a good team”.