What's Next For The Cavs Roster?
As you can see…it has been a CRAZY NBA offs-season, and training camp is right around the corner. Obviously, the Warriors are the defending champions but this off-season only one team has had a target on its back, the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs off-season has been nothing but comical stress for me; from signing Jose Calderon, rumors of LeBron to the Lakers, Dan Gilbert letting his GM walk without giving him a raise, and of course the Kyrie Irving trade saga.
So what's next for the Cavs? Well 2 weeks ago the Cavs agreed to trade their point guard, Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics (out of all teams), but what the Cavs got back in return was very interesting. Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets unprotected 2018 1st-round pick. The Cavs did become a better team this off-season with the signings of Derrick Rose, Jeff Green and the aforementioned trade, but the thing on everyone's mind is, “it's still not enough to beat the Golden State Warriors," and more jive talk that I couldn’t care less to hear. Of course it isn't enough, it's not rocket science, it's a 98% chance GSW wins the title again anyway, so why even discuss them?
It's obvious the Cavs need another superstar caliber player to even make it a series with that team in the western conference, and if you can't see that then I don't know what to tell you. When you tell people this…they're going to use idiotic logic to fit their jive ass narrative, so why even bother at this point?
But back to the trade, and that's where the Nets unprotected pick plays a part, ever since the trade we heard rumors Cavs trying to trade for New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins or their star power forward Anthony Davis, to be honest I wouldn't mind either player if they can pull off a successful trade down the line. New Cavs general manager Koby Altman has stated that the Cavs are in no rush to trade the pick if they even decide to, they want to find the best deal as possible.
Iman Shumpert's name has been in trade rumors for quite some time now and a team that is interested in him is the New Orleans Pelicans, which draws us back into the Cousins/Davis plot, the Pelicans just lost their forward Solomon Hill for the rest of the season after a hamstring injury. In no way am I saying this is going to happen, but it can happen, salary wise if the Cavs and Pelicans do work out a trade and let's say the Cavs acquire Anthony Davis, this is an option, the Cavs would have to trade Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye and either Richard, Jefferson, Kay Felder or Edy Tavares while including the Nets pick, depending on how the Pelicans look this season, if things go sour by December/January, then they might have to make this move by the trade deadline but this is a big IF, so don't buy into these rumors just yet.
I’d love to see the Cavs acquire DeMarcus Cousins, who is more than likely going to be moved considering the fact he's a free agent in 2018 and the PELS probably don't want to lose him for nothing in free agency, the Cavs can do the same deal here, just with Shumpert, Frye and the pick. I heard names brought up like Tristan Thompson but I don't know why the Pelicans would take on his contract so maybe that's a no. Maybe the PELS have interest in Kevin Love, but I doubt that happens for some reason too, either way you can't go wrong with Anthony Davis or Cousins at this point, especially if you're in "win now" mode and want to get back to holding that gold one last time before LeBron leaves again, if he decides to.
Other teams that have been in trade talks with the Cavs are the Denver Nuggets and the Milwaukee Bucks, both have some good players who could add extra depth to the Cavs, but it's not really enough to overcome the Warriors.
Wilson Chandler is the player I would like to see on the Cavs, trading him for Shump is possible but I'm not sure if the Nuggets would do that, especially if they have Garry Harris and Jamal Murray on the “untouchables” list. Chandler could still be moved but I think Denver would possibly want more than just Shump.
As for the Milwaukee Bucks, names like Kris Middleton, John Henson, and Malcolm Brogdon were mentioned, that's a lot of depth also but at the end of the day, you guessed it, it's still not enough. As I mentioned before, the Cavs definitely need another superstar to compete with the Warrior, so does Cousins to the Cavs make sense? If you want that championship back…yes, pull the trigger Koby Altman, it's best to go all out and try to get LeBron to stay instead of doing nothing and losing him next summer.
Personally, I would try to get Anthony Davis, pairing him alongside LeBron would be must-see TV and destruction on the court, but that's wishful thinking, and listen, you can't go wrong with DeMarcus Cousins, he might have some minor issues on the court but the Cavs need that edge, they lost their defensive mindset last season and were ranked 29th, if I'm not mistaken. Cousins can provide that toughness on both ends for Cleveland, I mean, LeBron hasn't played with a dominant center yet, and reuniting Isaiah (if they keep him) with Cousins is also a plus.
Speaking of IT, even though his hip issue is confidential right now, I have a feeling the Cavs will trade him, I don't know for who or what team will make a deal, but I have a strange feeling they won't keep him, but we'll see. Eric Bledsoe is a name on the point guard list that would fit great, they call him "mini LeBron" for a reason, I guess after the finals were over, Chris Broussard reported last month that the Cavs had a deal basically done that would send Kyrie to Phoenix, Eric Bledsoe to Cleveland, Paul George to Cleveland and Josh Jackson, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye to Indiana, if that deal happened, the Cavs would’ve gotten seriously better. It was rumored that Dan Gilbert went to LeBron with this deal and told him he would make this trade if Bron committed to staying, and if you remember, a rumor before the draft did come out stating a Bledsoe for Kyrie deal might happen, which brings me back to this, the fact that LeBron wouldn't commit with a deal for Bledsoe/Paul George on the table, let's us know that Kyrie got the wrong impression if he thought LeBron was trying to have him traded, especially after Bron telling him, "we'll be back" after the finals was over; place blame on Dan Gilbert and David Griffin.
I'm willing to bet the Cavs front office will go all out on DeMarcus Cousins, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and even Anthony Davis, and you can't blame them at the current stage the team is standing on. The Cavs know LeBron can leave again and they don't want that happen, no matter what they say. LeBron has every right to leave again and get away from Dan Gilbert, unless Gilbert steps down and gives him full ownership of the team or even a huge piece of it.
Trust me, I was ready to make a transition and be a temporary Timberwolves fan this season the way the Cavs handled the off-season, just by signing Jose Calderon, but after the recent trade involving IT, Crowder and the pick, I'm somewhat satisfied, considering what might happen with the Nets 2018 pick. Koby Altman seems like a sharp GM, and I hope he can pull the same strings David Griffin did, but better.
As usual it should be another fun, dysfunctional, great, and yet another stressful season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and as a fan I'll be tuned in for all of it.