assuming you don't believe that the current roster can grow into a contender and we need to bring in some new personnel, there are 3 ways we can improve the team - draft, trade and free agency, and all of them have been discussed ad infinitum on this blog. To some extent, the cavs are positioned pretty well to use all 3 ways: they are probably going to have a pretty solid draft pick in 2013, hopefully top-5; they have an extremely desirable asset in anderson varejao and some expiring deals as well; they will be way under the salary cap and will be able to sign a max-level player in free agency next summer.
however...it also seems possible if not likely that none of these things generate the returns the cavs are looking for as they complete their rebuild.
Draft picks are total unknowns and there's no guarantee that they will develop into the players we want or need them to be (exhibit A: tristan thompson). the 2013 draft is also lacking a clear cut #1 pick (though that could change) and we have a GM whi is not afraid to go his own way on draft night. Put another way, while we all get psyched up for the draft, it's the least certain way to improve the team - especially this year and especially for the cavs. additionally, i think a lot of people probably feel like it's time for the cavs to start putting it together and get out of tank mode, and i believe the cavs are better than their record suggests. however that means fewer pingpong balls...
Trade - this might be our best bet, as we're acquiring relatively known quantities in existing players and/or additional draft picks. However, the current sentiment (at least on this blog) is that trading andy right now would be a huge mistake as he is our best player and we wouldn't be able to get fair value for him. So if we don't trade varejao, then we're probably talking about a scenario where we're a 3rd team brought in to facilitate a deal as we have the ability to absorb a bad contract or two. but it doesn't seem likely that a deal like that would be a game-changer for the cavs.
Free Agency - so we have all this money to spend, but so do a lot of other teams as well. the fact is that until some big name free agent signs with the cavs and proves otherwise, cleveland is not seen as a desirable destination for free agents, period. we had a hard time attracting top free agents to cleveland when lebron was here and we were a contender. we're place to go for low-to-mid-level free agents and guys (the cj miles's and anthony parkers of the world), impact players tend to go elsewhere.
so where does that leave us? there are several different paths to take, each one with its share of opportunities, risks and roadblocks.
Here's my ideal scenario:
Draft - take the best player available regardless of position (excl PG), package and flip our lower picks either for a veteran or to move up in the draft - we don't need 5 more rookies on this team right now.
Trade - if there is a deal that nets us a lottery pick and a 15-20ppg scorer or something really enticing, then trade andy. we do not trade him for pennies on the dollar just because we have to get something for him.
Free agency - don't hand off any stupid contracts where someone is way overpaid for way too long. anything else, i can probably live with.
let me know your thoughts - thanks