Words by Jason Corder
This off season was a crucial one for the Cleveland Cavaliers. With LeBron James on the final year of his contract, this could very well be the last chance for the Cavs to compete for a championship for some time.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have battled the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for three straight years and there’s a very strong chance that NBA fans are going to get the same match up for the fourth time in a row next June.
The Cavs have the best player in the world in LeBron, for one more year, at least. A healthy James is basically a free ticket to the NBA Finals, which he has reached for an incredible seven consecutive years.
The Off Season Additions and Subtractions
The Cavs let go general manager David Griffin. They tried and failed in their pursuit of superstar wings like Paul George and Jimmy Butler. They could only pick up veterans on the minimum in Derrick Rose, Jose Calderon, and Jeff Green. And crucially, Kyrie Irving was unhappy and requested a trade.
It took a while, but the Cavs got the deal they wanted. Cleveland made quite an unprecedented move by trading away former Finals MVP Kyrie to their main conference rivals, the Boston Celtics, for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick, and an additional second-rounder.
Then we have the addition of Dwayne Wade. Wade will provide a championship pedigree and a polished game, that will be needed come playoff time. Wade will now reunite with his old friend LeBron in what could potentially be James’ swansong in Cleveland.
The Cavs are loaded. The combination of James surrounded by an army of three-point shooters has been the Cavs’ recipe for having an amazing offense over the last few years. Outside of the Houston Rockets, no team has been quite as prolific from beyond the arc as the Cavs.
Just like last season, nothing really matters with this Cavs team until the playoffs start. No matter how disinterested they look on defense or how dangerous the Celtics look, if LeBron is healthy, Cleveland will still be the team to beat in the East.
Expect the Cavs to once again reign supreme in the Eastern Conference and make it back to the NBA finals for a fourth consecutive time. This might be Lebron’s best chance of beating the Golden State Warriors.