Cleveland Cavaliers followers should be thrilled with the flurry of trades that helped the defending Japanese Convention champions get youthful, far more athletic on the wing, and higher defensively. Plus, the chemistry points that have been threatening to derail the season have (hopefully) been fastened.
Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood ought to have an prompt influence. Neither is a nice defender, however each are higher than Isaiah Thomas and this yr’s model of detached, not-targeted Jae Crowder. George Hill is a dramatic improve at level guard, a regular, strong participant who isn’t shoot-first. Right here’s how considerably they’ve upgraded the depth chart in the span of perhaps ninety minutes:
But as Brian Windhorst stated on TV today, LeBron was not consulted on these strikes by the Cavaliers. (LeBron did give him a shout-out on Instagram.) To me, that screams: It’s our staff now, LeBron.
We will all agree that former Cavs GM David Griffin and LeBron labored in lockstep in constructing a workforce that went to the Finals 3 times in a row. Individuals need to bash the JR Smith and Tristan Thompson contracts, and rightfully so; however on the similar time, each have been instrumental in profitable the primary title in Cleveland’s NBA historical past.
But after final season, when Griffin left and LeBron refused to decide to the Cavs past 2018, proprietor Dan Gilbert needed to make a troublesome choice: How do I construct a staff for the longer term with out LeBron? Can I persuade him to remain?
Then the Kyrie Irving demand got here, and Gilbert – we will all admit – botched it. He wouldn’t admit that, however he’d remind you that he did snag the Brooklyn Nets decide from Boston in the deal.
The commerce deadline strikes from Gilbert have been spectacular. He definitely improved the staff. It’s a message to LeBron that the billionaire is dedicated – with GM Koby Altman – to rebuild on the fly. (The Smith and Thompson contracts have been unable to be moved.)
I consider LeBron needs to remain, however the Lakers now can afford two max contracts, and if Paul George needs to hitch forces with LeBron, how can King James move that up?