First off, let's address the Lebron situation. I think most Cleveland fans would like to see Lebron back in Cleveland even the fans that will not admit it. Lebron is a Superstar and there's no doubt about that. The one thing that I hope doesn't happen, is the Cavs play it safe hoping for his return. This analysis will be based on the assumption he doesn't return.
Here are 5 steps the Cavs can take to return to a Championship level.
1. I think we should pursue Luol Deng. We need a dynamic Small Forward and Deng fits the bill. I think Gee would be a great backup SF. Luol Deng has been a solid player throughout his career and has helped the Bulls especially through the absence of Derrick Rose.
Deng is used to playing with a dynamic PG so he and Kyrie should be a perfect match. Deng is an unrestricted free agent in 2014 and the Bulls will be looking to free up cap space. The Bulls really like Jimmy Butler so they might be willing to part with Deng. I say offer them are draft pick if it's outside of the top 4. I don't think any draft pick will be better than Deng but I know they're not going to trade a top 4 pick. The starting line-up would be:
I think a Deng or Iguodala type player would be perfect for the Cavs. Even though Iggy is an unrestricted free agent after this season, I don't think he's leaving Denver.
I think Thompson/Zeller is a good combo at the 4 and 5. I think the consistency will grow as they play together. We also have to ask will Thompson/Zeller be able to handle Monroe/Drummond in Detroit. They will be a future force.
2. The Draft - This draft can be used in several ways. We can use the pick to go after a SF that will make a HUGE difference. I don't see any SF in the draft who will be on the level of a Deng or Iggy at least for a few years.
If we go the draft route instead of going after a star SF, maybe go with a big man like Nerlen Noel or a SF like Otto Porter or Alex Poythress. I would prefer that we go after a star SF and pick up a back up Center and PF with the later picks.
3. Bench - Cavs have the makings of a solid bench. We will probably lose Speights but I think we will keep Livingston. You add that to Ellington and then you add a couple of late draft picks and a couple of free agent pick ups and the Cavs can have a solid rotation. You will also have Gee and C.J. Miles coming off of the bench.
4. Byron Scott has to go if he doesn't change. I know a lot of people love Byron Scott but he's horrible when it comes to adapting to the game. He sticks to his rotations like glue and this can hurt.
It really showed during the loss to the Heat. He said he put Luke Walton in the game because Miami was playing small. When he put Walton in the game, we had went up over 20 points because we were not playing small. Zeller and Thompson were playing big in the paint. There was no need for the Cavs to adjust to Miami when we're up over 20 points. You make Miami adjust to you. Make them play Haslem and Anthony more.
When Scott saw Walton was a liability, he should have pulled him and put in Speights. A similar problem occurred with the Nets. When they let Avery Johnson go everyone complained including Lebron. Avery Johnson was known as the Little General and he wouldn't change. He wouldn't let the team just play and he wouldn't adjust. The Nets have played much better since then and they're in the Playoffs.
5. Chris Grant - I hope Chris Grant realizes that the landscape has changed since the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Teams are willing to give up more, so the Cavs need to be aggressive. Look at Houston. They're on the verge of the Playoffs after 1 year. The way they got Lin and Harden is because teams were scared to death of the Luxury tax. This also happened in Memphis with Rudy Gay. I think we can get a star SF to play with Irving if we pursue this aggressively.
In Closing, I think the Cavs need to build a Championship team, not a 7th or 8th seed team. I think we're building a good team but not one that will compete for a Championship. I also think we have to watch the Wizards and the Pistons. Two young teams that are on the rise. The Wizards might have even made the Playoffs if Wall/Beal had played the entire season together.
Also, trade Andy gets an honorable mention. He should have been traded before he got hurt.
If we follow these steps, we're on our way to being a Championship contender!