Aug. 14, 2014
cLEAVEland Cavs' Worst Offseason
Cleveland's best move was signing LeBron James. And even that move wasn't a completely free transaction. The Cavaliers lost a prolific contributor on both ends of the floor in Luol Deng, who should make an impact in Miami. The teams, while by happenstance just swapped SFs, didn't make a deal, but it worked out that way.
LeBron James came at a steal (in relative terms) at $20.6 million this year and a $21.6m player option next year. But the fact that he does make a large salary cap dent is an issue. Not a great one when you consider how much James contributes to a team, but it is a factor to notice.
The Cavaliers also signed Kyrie Irving to a longterm max-deal. Irving is an outstanding player, but the team simply threw a ton of cash at him, and when you have tons of money going to a couple of players, it limits your flexibility should anything go wrong (look at the Bulls struggling without D-Rose for a couple seasons).
The Cavaliers also will acquire Kevin Love, another high paid superstar that will eat into the salary books. Look at Miami this year. They had all this money committed to the Big Three, and once the Big Three ended its tenure, they had to scramble to sign Danny Granger, Deng and Josh McRoberts.
The Cavaliers lost two #1 draft picks, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, both guys that would be under contract for much lower than their market values due to rookie contracts. They lose their first draft pick in this upcoming season. They bailed on the future, searching for wins now.
And frankly, it doesn't improve the team that much.
You can argue that the Cavaliers had depth at SG (Dion Waiters, and they also drafted Joe Harris), and PF (Tristan Thompson, and now Love). But in essence, the T'Wolves got what the Cavaliers had before the acquisitions of LeBron and Love, incomprehensible talent on good deals. Incomprehensible talent on good deals means that you win now and later.
Bold Call: Cavaliers will be a strong team, but they have so severely mortgaged the team that in a few years (maybe even this offseason), LeBron James will be forced into another free agency frenzy as the Cavaliers struggle to maintain relevance in the NBA.