With the NBA Draft occurring this past week and the beginning of the free agent period dawning next weekend, there has been a lot of talk about what the Cleveland Cavaliers should do this off-season.
Most of it comes from the uncertainty surrounding the franchise because LeBron James’ contract expires at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
In our opinion, whoever the new Cavs’ GM is, probably Chauncey Billups should tweak the roster, making the bench younger and more athletic because that’s where The Finals were lost, when James was off the floor.
Look, most people, especially the national media have painted the Golden State Warriors as this unstoppable team, which we don’t buy into.
They are a great team without a doubt, with two titles in the last three years, and in between a record setting 73 win team in the regular season.
But we can’t help but think what would have happened if Kyle Korver (and we aren’t blaming him) makes the corner three in the last three minutes of the third game of the championship series.
If he does, Cleveland wins that game and is trailing 2-1 with the fourth game at The Q.
We believe even the smug Steve Kerr would admit the wine and gold outplayed his team for the majority of the third and fourth games of the series.
You do not break down and reconstruct the roster for several reasons.
First, as long as you have James, you have a chance to win the title. That’s how good he is. So, any talk of trading him (even though he has a no trade clause) is stupid. You ride it out with him.
Second, remember that the Cavs went 12-1 in the Eastern Conference playoffs and one of the East’s best players, Jimmy Butler, went to the West.
Our point is that there is no team in the East challenging Cleveland right now.
Oh, what if Boston signs Gordon Hayward? Here are the Celtics three best players: Isaiah Thomas, Hayward, Al Horford. We rest our case.
The Celts are trying to build to be the best in the East when James finally slows down, retires, or leaves.
In The Finals, we believe we can all agree Tyronn Lue received no help from his bench, outside of Richard Jefferson. Korver, Iman Shumpert (who played three minutes in the last game), Deron Williams, and Channing Frye were non-factors.
Taking a non-emotional look at the Cavs, the five players mentioned need to be replaced, although we would understand keeping one or two for experience.
We would also look to move Tristan Thompson, who after six seasons still makes you cringe when he is taking a shot from longer than five feet.
Thompson is making a ton of cash ($16.4 million next season), and we believe you could get a similar player AND someone else who can help for that amount of money.
Look around the NBA, there are a lot of players who do what Thompson does. He’s an very good defender and he’s an energy guy who grabs a lot of rebounds.
We say take emotion out of it because these guys won a title here, the first seen in northeast Ohio in 52 years. Of course, we love them for that. But you have to think about the upcoming season.
And whoever is running the Cavaliers has to make the roster better. And to do it, you don’t move your three best players, all of whom are all-stars, you fix the rest of the team.
Break up the Cavs? That’s just stupid sports talk conversation.