The Cavaliers have probably the brightest future out of any “bad” team in the NBA for the simple reason that they have Kyrie Irving at the point. This guy is incredible and at the tender age of 21 he already has the rookie of the year trophy and three point competition trophy on his shelves. Oh, he’s also averaging 23 and 6 on 41% shooting from three and 47% shooting from the field. He would be the best point guard in the game if it weren’t for the likes of Chris Paul and Tony Parker this season. So looking toward the future, Cavs fans can safely say they will have the best point guard in basketball.
Who knows what Dion Waiters will become? He’s been a real scoring threat this season with flashes of possible stardom. He’s currently out with a knee problem but was averaging a solid 14 points per game. So Cleveland pretty much has their backcourt for the future with a combined age of 42.
The starting 3 position has been shared by the likes of C.J Miles and Alonzo Gee – both pretty much identical statistically. Gee comes with more of a slasher/attacker identity, while Miles is more of a shooting threat from the field. Either way this position can be upgraded. Both are very cheap and both have team options in the coming years – C.J’s is this summer and Gee has a team option in 2014-15. It doesn’t hurt the Cavs to keep both of these guys, and rotate them equally in and out of the starting lineup till 2014 when you know who comes back.
Look, ok, ok, I’m no Lebron fanatic, i’m no conspirator – we definitely landed on the moon, and 9/11 wasn’t an inside job I know. But… Isn’t it fitting that Lebron has a player option in 2014-15 in the same year that the Cavs will only have (as of now) 6 players under contract – ALL OF THEM having a TEAM option? Isn’t it fitting that in 2014-15 Wade will be 34 years old and most likely a declining star and the same year Ray Allen who if he picks up his player option in 2013-14 will be a free agent and free to retire? Isn’t it fitting that Lebron goes back to Cleveland – to his home town – to the place that raised him into the greatest basketball player alive and win a championship there with what would be the best point guard in basketball? I mean c’mon it’s a saucy rumor isn’t it? You can’t help wondering how good the Cavs would be with Lebron and Kyrie together. The Cavs sure have the cap room to bring him in. We’ll see what happens… (it’s going to happen)
Anyway, at the 4 they have Tristan Thompson who is only 22 years old and basically averaging a double double with 11 and 9 per game. He’s bound to turn into a 15 and 10 guy by next season and he’s just hit 22; he has tons of time to develop. Off the bench I like Marreese Speights who said he’s always wanted to play for Cleveland. He’s currently averaging 8 and 5 off the bench and is signed through 2013-14. At the 5 they have choices, which is always nice. They have Anderson Varejao the Brazilian angel boy who quietly and politely averaged 14 and 14 before a blood clot took him out this season. He led the league in rebounding if you didn’t notice. He’s either a keeper or he’s a trade piece for some sort of bench. Now starting in his place is Tyler Zeller who has 7 double doubles so far and is averaging 8 and 6 in 26 minutes per game for the Cavs. He’s only 23 and bound to get better with more experience.
So if you really think about it, the starting lineup (if you call Zeller a starter and combine C.J and Gee at the 3) has a combined age 136 years old. So pretty much the average age of one Knicks player. Anyway, the youth and talent they have is promising especially when they don’t have to go looking for a superstar anymore like other bad teams. They are blessed to have one already. They just need a bench because as of now they don’t really have one.
The bench averages 32 points a game, which isn’t bad but the team as a whole has troubles scoring the ball. They’re 28th in scoring with 93 a game. They need like I said more scoring punches, an instant offense type of guy. Luckily they can start building a bench this season through free agency and maybe through the draft. Daniel Gibson who is having a terrible season only averaging 5 a game on career low shooting from the field (35%) and career low shooting from three (36%) is a free agent this summer. They can let him walk this offseason, Luke Walton will almost definitely be let go this offseason as well. His last contract was wildly overpaid at 6 million per year. He is basically their only “bad” contract though, besides him, once he’s off their payroll they’re in good shape. Omri Casspi who is dying to get out of Cleveland, probably won’t be matched or signed for that matter this summer, which is good for the Cavs who barely use him. Anyway, the only other guy to think about is Wayne Ellington who is a restricted free agent this summer. They should probably resign him as he’s cheap, and he has four 20 point games on the season. He’s one of those under the radar bench players that you never hear of but he’ll get 20 something against a good team now and then.
So if everything goes the way I’ve said so far, and we take into account the salaries of the two 1st round draft picks Cleveland will have to pay and the possible 2nd rounders, the Cavs should have about 17 million in cap space this summer to do as they please. Now they most likely, well definitely, won’t sign anybody to a max contract because 1. Kyrie is going to need one in a few years, and 2 if they want any chance of getting Lebron they can’t give a contract to another star. Besides who are they going to give it to? Not Josh Smith or Dwight wherever the hell he goes.
Anyway, the Cavaliers have a very bright future filled with young talent and LBJ… Just joking. (Not really)