Following LeBron James and the Lakers’ inevitable 2020 championship, now might be the perfect time for a trip down memory lane.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have not been relevant since LeBron James was in the building, but by the way they have orchestrated their off-season, do they think that he is coming back? Maybe?
Okay, probably not, guess they are just run poorly then… that settles that.
But my curiosity was grounded in three factors.
They don’t want to pay Sexton
The Cavaliers started the off-season with rumours that their biggest star, Colin Sexton, was “very available”, according to The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd. Hinting that Sexton won’t be the fifth member of the 2018 draft class to get a max extension could mean they are waiting to throw a bag at a certain someone who hits free agency in 2023-24.
However, they did just sign Ricky Rubio for some adult presence at back up. Only problem with Rubio is that he apparently only plays well when the team is good. Jazz/Suns Rubio was a much better player than Timberwolves Rubio – both times.
Eyes set on bigs
“Hey, LeBron James just won a championship with a big, so let’s get all the bigs we can!”
There is nothing wrong with drafting Evan Mobley with the third pick, but why match that with signing Jarret Allan and at $100 million guaranteed? Mobley shows flashes of Bam Adebayo with some solid looks off the dribble so he can probably slide to the four – even though that’s not where he excels.
Allen, however, cannot. So the problem isn’t that ‘this might work’, it’s that ‘it has to work’. But considering that the Twin Towers play similar roles on offence and defence – pick and rolls, rim running and rim protection – they are definitely going to get in the way of each other.
Plus, where was Allen’s leverage? Was there really a market out there to sign Jarrett Allen at $100 million?
I understand the premise. Cleveland thinks they are preemptively solving the Portland issue: they built their team around a tandem of score-first guards but have been held back by their lack of a consistent defensive big.
But again, why give Allen the extension at that price after drafting Mobley? Hypothetically, if Allen even reaches his ceiling which I deem to be Clint Capela, that’s not that useful. Because the ship has definitely sailed on the ‘Allen is the next Rudy Gobert’.
Serious question: Do Allen and Mobley cancel out Sexton and Garland’s height?
Never mind, I have a headache…
Who needs a wing when we’re getting LeBron?
Someone needs to tell the Cavaliers that 1) LeBron is not coming back, and 2) this is not 1972.
Modern NBA teams require wings and Issac Okoro does not cut it. Defence aside (which isn’t all it was supposed to be), Okoro is just another player you have to worry about whether he can even score four times in 30 minutes of action.
Too bad you couldn’t throw Lauri Markkanen (another signed big) at small forward because he would just get torched by all the athletic freaks that cover that position (Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, LeBron).
The ridiculous LeBron perspective besides, the Cavaliers seem to be going in circles.
In a vacuum, their talent is great, it’s just the optimisation that makes little sense. They still have Kevin Love who seems to be that one guy at a party who stays that little bit too long, but chances are he will either get moved for very little or get injured again.
But teams that control the glass and have fast scoring guards are always fun to watch. At least there’s that…