hardwood

Lebron Reloads for the Final Chapter

It finally happened!  Kyrie got what he wanted and the Cleveland Cavaliers set themselves up for a post Lebron James era.  Danny Ainge solidifies himself as the “ultimate finessa.”  “The Land” to got a decent return for a player who’s stock was on the decline as the 2017-18 NBA season approached.  And as his first major move as GM, let’s give the Cav’s Koby Altman some credit.  Or should we be shaking our heads in disappointment instead?  I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Danny Ainge is somewhere grinning from ear to ear.  Just when you forget about him and think he’s nowhere to be found, he swoops in and makes you a deal you can’t refuse.

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Danny Ainge always has a couple tricks up his sleeve.  Photo courtesy of reddit.com

The Cavs traded Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics and got Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn’s 2018 1st-round pick in return.  Most of the basketball world looked as if they were stoked for Kyrie and the Celtics and just a mere “meh” for the Cavs.  The Cavs lost a very good player in Kyrie Irving, but you could argue that for what they are trying to accomplish (one last hoorah for Lebron’s final season in “The Land”), they were the winners of the blockbuster deal.

On the other hand, the Celtics have all the promise and talent to be the best team in the East for many years to come.  But, as of now, they are still one or two pieces away from dethroning “The King.”  Danny Ainge is very aware and anticipating a Lebron departure to the West, thus the moves made has set up his team to rule the East once he does leave.  He has Brad Stevens.  One of (if not the best) the best coaches in the NBA.  The relationship between Ainge and Stevens is something to admire.  A GM providing his play caller with all the tools needed for the organization to thrive.  And it is!  Brad Stevens can go a variety of ways with his rotations, offensive sets and schemes.  The starting five for the 2017-18 season will more than likely look something close to this:

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Boston Celtics Depth Chart – 2017-18.  Photo courtesy of espn.com.

Now take a look at the Cavs depth chart:

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Cleveland Cavaliers Depth Chart – 2017-18.  Photo courtesy of espn.com.

The Cavs are really good!  But only in the short-term.  Aging players and expiring contracts are evidence in the focus in to just get back to the Finals and let Lebron James do him.  Dwayne Wade is expected to reach a buyout agreement with the Chicago Bulls before the beginning of the season.  Once he joins his partner-in-crime, the Cavs will be equipped for one final escapade with Lebron at the helm.  Lebron was embarrassed last June so he had to go get his boys to avenge his ass-whooping.  That being said, Carmelo Anthony just got much closer to wearing the gold and maroon as well.  But even without Melo and Wade, the Cavs are still the best team in the East and NBA finals bound because Lebron James is hands down best player on the planet.  And the best player on the planet will find a way to be there in the end.  The two teams will be fun to watch throughout the regular season.  They each will end up in the Eastern Conference Finals which will make for a story line ESPN and the NBA will be milking start to finish.  But if you think the Kyrie Irving trade is going to take down Lebron then I’m afraid you are sadly mistaken.  Lebron will be more than happy to let Kyrie have the East but after he is done with it.  He is “The Chosen One” for a reason.

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Photo courtesy of cbssports.com.

So instead of the NBA Finals featuring All-Stars Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, David West and Andre Igoudala, Lebron James, Kevin Love, Kyle Korver and Kyrie Irving; it would be all those guys minus Irving but add to the mix Derrick Rose, Isaiah Thomas, Dwayne Wade and possibly Carmelo Anthony.  13 NBA All-Stars all on the floor at once!  It’s a must see.  Warriors still come out on top because of their play style and depth but it will be a much more entertaining June then the previous one.  Lebron will be reinforced and reloaded.  Melo, Rose and Wade may be on the back end of their careers, but they can hoop.  Put them in big games and they will do big things.  That’s the way the NBA works.  That’s why I love this trade.  I get to now see Kyrie Irving with a respectable and successful franchise, purchase that jersey and watch a star-studded NBA Finals next June between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.  Take a look at the two squad’s current rosters:

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Cleveland Cavaliers Depth Chart – 2017-18.  Photo courtesy of espn.com.
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Golden State Warriors Depth Chart – 2017-18.  Photo courtesy of espn.com.

Last year’s finals had the most current/former All-Stars on the floor in 34 years.  Next year’s NBA Finals will likely feature most current/former NBA All-Stars in NBA history at 13 (could be 14 if Tristan Thompson gets away from them Kardashians).  It would feature all of the MVP award winners from the 2008-09 season to the 2015-16 season and also 8 of the last 10 NBA scoring leaders.  The only other MVP (2017) and scoring champion (2015, 2017) to not be there would be Russell Westbrook.  Simply amazing!  Best offseason ever.  Adam Silver…you rock, dude!

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