The NBA is about to change, and it is yet to be seen if that is for the better or worse as far as competition goes. Teams are already preparing for the consequences that come along with having multiple max deals under contract. Top players such as James Harden and Rudy Gay have been dealt because of this very reason. There are more to come, very soon.Meanwhile, the Cavs have one of the lowest payrolls in the league, with many rookie deals, cheap deals, expiring, and cap space galore. The Cavs are following the OKC/San Antonio model, by drafting/trading to build their team. Here is an analysis of how the Cavs are following the OKC model:
The Cavs have the most important and most difficult part of the rebuilding out of the way, which is getting a top talent in the league. We have our superstar in Kyrie Irving. I have no doubt he can be a number 1 player on a champion contender or a superstar number 2 if we can be lucky enough to land someone more talented than him).
James Harden/Manu Ginobli (super sub)
I believe that Dion Waiters can be our super sub in the sixth man role, only if he accepts it. I just hope he doesn't see what Harden did as far as making a name for himself and then leading his own team. If Waiters will be content with being a super sub off the bench, we have another piece covered.
Serge Ibaka ( Star Defender/Rebounder)
I believe that Tristian Thompson will either be our "Serge Ibaka" or we will use him to acquire something similar down the road in years to come. While Thompson is not as talented as Ibaka, he will play a similar role to our team in defending and rebounding.
Russell Westbrook ( secondary star or superstar)
Next, we need to find our "Westbrook", second star/superstar preferably at SF or C. Something tells me that Andre Drummond will turn into a star and could have been ours but thats for another day/discussion. With our young core (not just this core we will add to it over the years) and salary cap rules being different, we will be able to attract top talent if we don't get it through the draft or trade. I mean we have 4 players in the Rising Stars game ,that proves something! People often say we never will get talent through free agency, and that may be true with the superstars. But as far as top mid level players and possibly even borderline stars, I believe we will be attractive to those players.Only reason we couldn't attract anyone with Lebron, the best player, is because he wouldnt commit to us long-term. Who would come here if they don't have Lebron's extension or word that he was staying?
I think we will be an attractive team once we add a few more pieces. Teams are already starting to realize that the days of having 3-4 max players on one team are over, evidenced by OKC and MEM trading their players, not for on court play but for financial reasons. Yes, those are small markets, but the big markets just have not have to make the decision yet. MIA will not be able to resign all three of their stars, LAL has already cleared the books for next year. This all means that the Cavs will be very attractive for those superstar players being let go solely for money reasons. We can try and trade for one, or use our draft picks to draft one. Also, with the Cavs adding pieces around Kyrie, we will be attractive in 2014 when many top mid-level players will be available along with stars. I don't think we have a chance at signing a superstar through free agency, but we can get a couple of those mid-level players to be a role player around Kyrie and co.
Many stars will be available due to the luxury tax forcing them to, and if we don't manage to draft our second superstar, I believe we can trade to get him. I think the Cavs are heading in the right direction, and if all goes well, I believe we are setting ourselves up to become the next force in the league.