The New NBA: Same as Ever, Plus Looking at Cavs

The NBA lockout ended last weekend and fans of the sport should be rejoicing, and many are, anxious to get their pro hoops itch scratched.

However, there are others who aren’t so thrilled, present company included.

Why?  You may ask.

Because the ink on the deal isn’t even dried yet, and already we have been greeted with rumors of deals sending more top flite players to big market teams.

Dwight Howard to New Jersey?  Chris Paul to Boston or New York?

Meet the new NBA, same as the old NBA.

In time, the new CBA may take care of these situations, since some of luxury tax rules don’t take effect for two years, but why should fans in smaller markets be excited that the season will resume on Christmas Day?

The people who are thrilled are mostly the star chasers, the people who can’t be without their fix of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Howard, etc.

That’s one of the reasons that people said the league was healthy, the TV ratings are good.  That’s because the games broadcast on the national networks feature teams that have the superstar players. 

The casual fans turn in to watch the spectacular plays.

So, things may even out some time, but until that happens we may find two more “superteams” forming which isn’t good for competitive balance.

That being said, Cleveland basketball fans will soon get their first look at rookies Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson very soon.

These two players will be the cornerstone of the rebuilding process the franchise is undertaking since the teams that had the best regular record in the league two straight years was destroyed.

These Cavs will be young, for the most part, although they will likely still have Baron Davis around to provide veteran leadership, at least at the start of the season. 

If Davis plays well, he could be a nice trade chip come deadline time.

What is surprising is the word that the wine and gold have interest in bringing back veteran swingman Anthony Parker. 

Yes, Parker has been around for a while, but his game did drop off, particularly defensively, from his first year with the team, and he is 36 years old. 

It seems the Cavs would be better off letting him go elsewhere, and giving his time to younger players for evaluation purposes.

Another question will be whether the front office will use the “amnesty” clause to rid themselves of a bad contract on the salary cap.

Antawn Jamison could be a candidate to be let go, since the Cavs would like to get a good look at Omri Casspi and Thompson at the forward spots, but early indications are GM Chris Grant would be more inclined to look for a trade later in the year involving the veteran.

Having Davis and Jamison, two vets who still can play, are yet another reason why there is light at the end of the tunnel for the Cavs.  Besides, Irving and Thompson, there is the opportunity to get more draft picks, which will add to the rebuilding process.

If the Cavs do sign any free agents, they likely will be complementary pieces at this time.

The concern is whether or not this new CBA will make a difference for teams like the Cavaliers.  Once fans begin to realize there is no chance to win a title, will there be any interest in the team. 

Right now, NBA fans have more interest in players.  That’s not a good sign going forward for the league.  It’s a mess David Stern created for the NBA.



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