CANTON, Ohio- Some random thoughts on the Cavs. The fact that they managed to improve over the off-season after trading away Kyrie Irving is great.
- I want to thank the Oklahoma City Thunder for making a trade for Carmelo Anthony. At no point did I want him, his isolation offense or his massive $26 million on the Cavs books. He doesn’t play defense well at all and he’s 33. I was afraid that Cleveland would try and trade for him, but thankfully the Knicks asking price was too high. From what I’ve read, the New York Knicks wanted Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye and more importantly, the Cavs first round pick for next year’s draft. Cleveland’s front office is well aware of James and Anthony’s friendship and their wanting to play together, yet they realized Melo would have been a terrible fit. I’m glad they didn’t pull the trigger.
- Chicago and guard Dwayne Wade reached an agreement on a buy-out deal, making him a free-agent. The Spurs, Heat, Thunder and yes, Cleveland are all considered to be the favorites to land the former all-star. I am 50/50 on this to be completely honest. Wade is 35, injury prone and isn’t the defensive player he once was and, just in general, isn’t the player he once was. But, here are some of the things I like about the possibility of Wade signing in Cleveland. He’d be signing for the vet minimum, 20 PPG, 80% FT shooter. It’s a low risk, high reward situation for the Cavs, but Wade has recently said it’s all about the situation and role he’d be playing. He wants to play in a role he wants. So, would he be willing to come off the bench, or would he only be willing to start? Maybe the better question is, how much does he still want to compete for a title? Also, Lebron has made it clear that, while he’d love to play alongside Wade in Cleveland and has spoken to him all Summer about coming to play in Cleveland, James also told the media “It’s completely up to him and he has to do what he feels is best for him”.
- Derrick Williams is still out there on the market, I haven’t heard any new news on what is going on with him. I was hoping Cleveland would bring him back to add to their youth, athleticism, defense and energy. Williams brings all that, plus toughness. But again, you can only have a maximum of 15 players.
- What worries me the most about the roster size, is what Cleveland decides to do about how many point guards they have and who those PG’s are. With the uncertainty of Isaiah Thomas’ hip, Cleveland will definitely keep Derrick Rose, I expect him to start. After that is where the big question mark pops up. Cleveland brought in Jose Calderon and still has Kay Felder. Do the Cavs carry three point guards? Keep in mind, we’re not sure about if Derrick Rose can hold up playing starter minutes or do the Cavs keep his minutes low and allow Calderon or Felder take some of his minutes and let James run the point for a few minutes a game until Thomas comes back? That’s what I’m most intrigued by.
- I know Cleveland is still looking to move Iman Shumpert. I don’t mind that at all. But it’ll take a package deal with him paired with another player more than likely, to get a deal done for that.
- Call me a sucker for loving players that can hit from deep, but I was very happy to find out months ago, that Cleveland brought back Kyle Korver. He doesn’t play much defense, but he can single-handedly shoot another team out of a game when he gets hot from three-point range. Just ask Indiana.
- I should have included this in my point regarding the point guards, but I just remembered reading earlier, that Isaiah Thomas’ hip is actually starting to feel better according to Thomas. He also said that he wouldn’t rule out being back by January because he has been moving better without pain lately. That would be huge for Cleveland. My worst-case scenario is Thomas being held out, then being brought back with about 6 weeks before the playoffs started. That would give him a decent amount of playing time before things get serious.
- I’d like to know who the people are that put together the early season power rankings for the NBA. 1. Warriors (They should be). 2) Houston. 3) Spurs. 4) Boston. 5) Thunder. 6) Cleveland. 7) Minnesota. 8) Wizards. 9) Raptors. 10) Clippers. Does anyone see anything wrong with this? The Rockets are a good team, but asking them to play defense is like asking Kyrie Irving to play defense. How in the world do these people put Boston above Cleveland? Do they know that the Celtics lost their two best defenders in Avery Bradley in a trade to Detroit and Jae Crowder? Not to mention Thomas being gone? I’m reading this site and Crowder isn’t even considered a key departure. Talk about a kick to the gut. The Thunder have Westbrook, Paul George and now Melo, but can they learn quickly how to play together? You can see what I’m getting at. Cleveland should be ranked higher than the Thunder, Celtics and Rockets. I don’t know about San Antonio, but they can’t be too far behind the Spurs if they are.
I’m actually glad in my own weird little way, that the power rankings have Cleveland where they’re at. People are doubting Lebron and his ability to play at a high level in his 15th season, especially with no more Kyrie Irving. James, inside, is loving this. This might be the year he plays his most inspiring level of basketball because of his age and Irving being gone, not to mention the question mark he has to deal with at point guard. James wants to prove he can make it to his 8th straight finals despite his age and Irving being gone. A determined Lebron James is tied with an angry LeBron James for player you don’t want to be playing against.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick broulis