On July 11, 2014 NBA Superstar LeBron James announced via Sports Illustrated that he is “coming home” to play for his home state Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron, a native of Akron Ohio, chose to return to the team he once spurned in 2010 for the Miami Heat. In a letter LeBron detailed some of the reasons he returned to the Cavs and spoke fondly of the time he had in Miami (link here if you missed it http://www.si.com/nba/2014/07/11/lebron-james-cleveland-cavaliers) and about how his time there with the Heat helped him grow as a player as well as a man. Now that the Cavs have been able to bring LeBron back (details about the contract are still unknown but it is speculated that LeBron will be signing a four year max at about 90 million.) there a few questions that have to be answered regarding roster and fit.
The Cavs are an extremely young team one of the youngest in the league and there is a question as to weather they are ready to contend or not. After LeBron it all starts with talented young point guard Kyrie Irving, Irving is a fan favorite for his creative ball handling skills and impressive scoring, but hasn’t shown an ability to run an NBA offense at a high level. Nor has he shown much interest on the defensive side of the ball so far in his young career. Now the latter can be viewed as he hasn’t had a veteran player he respects push him as a defender like LeBron, who will emphasize defense. Kyrie also hasn’t played for a coach with a great idea of NBA offense, this is where new head coach David Blatt comes in, if he is able to reach Kyrie and help him become a better PG than that will go a long way into helping the Cavs reach that championship LeBron wants to bring to Cleveland. Another young piece is the Number one pick of this year’s draft, Mr. Andrew Wiggins. He may be nothing more than an asset as there are reports that the Cavs are thinking of making him the centerpiece in a trade to bring in Kevin Love form the Minnesota Timberwolves. If that isn’t the case and the Cavs do keep Wiggins, by allowing him to play on the wing next to LeBron for the foreseeable future there are a few things Wiggins must really improve on to become an ideal fit next to James. One of the things Wiggins could do is watch film on Dwanye Wade, mostly on how he moved without the ball as he became great at back cuts and hanging around the baseline finding openings for LeBron to get him the ball. Among other things that Wiggins will have to improve are of course his shooting, ball handling, and overall game but if the Cavs do plan on keeping Wiggins I can’t think of a better situtation for a player of his skill set than next to a superstar like LeBron James. Other young players like Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett (last years number one pick), and Tristan Thompson will likely all have to speed up there learning curve or find themselves shipped out in favor of players ready to contend.
This time around for the Cavs it is a lot different, these 2014 Cavs have something 2010 Cavs didn’t have which are options. The 2010 Cavs made a lot of moves that didn’t pan out, while also lacking assets to make major moves. Which placed too much on the shoulders of a young LeBron James. The 2014 edition Cavaliers have plenty of options, they have enough assets to make a major move like trade for a Kevin Love and still have assets to make other moves if that’s their plan. They have the ability to add to this team in a way the 2010 Cavs couldn’t and that had to be one of the factors in LeBron making his return to Cleveland.
I have no real idea what the Cavs are going to do moving forward, I don’t think they have much of an idea yet, nor am I sure if LeBron made the right basketball choice or not. But he’s happy, Cleveland is happy, and it seems that his family is happy. So good for LeBron, his family, the city of Cleveland, and most importantly good for all of us that follow the game the LeBron drama is finally over.