Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.
That was an excerpt from his story/essay/love letter in Sports Illustrated on Friday, he must have had one of the President’s speech writers ghost write that for him. Nah, I’m just joking. Actually, my hat goes off to him for handling the decision a lot better this time around. That was a very poignant and endearing story that explained how The King and The Chosen One has matured over the years.
As much as I thought he would stay in South Beach I have to respect the decision and how he made it this time around. Fellow 7poundbag.com contributor EJ and I were texting all week about free agency, particularly LeBron James and he said James was brilliant.
Why? Because, he never said one damn word. Neither did his agent. It was entirely the media and Twitter that was running wild with speculation.
James is returning to a team that is talented, but has question marks and holes on it’s roster. It’s rumored that Mike Miller and Ray Allen want to play with James and for the Cavs. While they would help, they wouldn’t solve the glaring weaknesses.
Anderson Varejao is 31 years old and probably better suited to being a 23-25 minute per game super-sub backup, but he’s going to be forced into a starting role with no other viable options on the roster. If they don’t find a cheap backup (James is getting max money and Miller and Allen will take remaining cash available) Tristan Thompson may be forced to log some minutes as the reserve center in a small ball lineup. The Cavs are trying to acquire Brendan Haywood, but he’s going to be 35 (older than Andy) and missed all of last season with the Charlotte Bobcats.
The last time he did play he averaged 3.5ppg and 4.8 rebounds per contest in 19 minutes per game (in 61 games) with Charlotte. They traded their young backup center Tyler Zeller to the Boston Celtics for a second round pick to clear some salary to be able to afford a max deal for James.
James and Irving.
They both need the ball to be effective. Yes, James is a very good ballhandler/facilitator, but he is also an elite scorer as well, something Irving fancies himself to be. Irving will probably relish not having to run the offense, that’s now James job, but he also isn’t a very good catch and shoot scorer. He’s used to running a lot of isolation plays and one-on-one ball.
Even with Allen and Miller this will be a team with very little quality depth. Assuming they both sign, this is the roster with no other changes:
Allen and Miller are the only players that are proven in the league at this point, Haywood needs to come back and show something before he’s able to be a solid backup. And Wiggins? he could be looking at a rookie year like Kobe Bryant. Playing sparingly while he learns the game from James and is utilized mainly as a defensive player. This bench is thinner than Miami’s and they don’t have Bosh or Wade.
Will they make the playoffs? Of course, it’s the Eastern Conference, they can probably be a 3 or 4 seed. I say that because while the East is relatively weak, it’s more of a level playing field now that Big Three is no longer in Miami and the Cavs still have some question marks.
There are rumors that they are trying to get Kevin Love, but I don’t if that will go down. Per my source, the Wolves want Wiggins included in any trade for the 3-point shooting power forward. If it does, that’s a possible game-changer in this whole scenario, but it looks like it’s unlikely.
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