Growing up in the state of Ohio, the region's fans naturally learn to have limited expectations for their teams. With the title drought and endless sports-related humiliation, its a trait that each Clevelander has when rooting on our teams. With that being said, I can honestly say that I am most excited in my entire lifetime to be a Cleveland fan. The Cavaliers have put themselves in position to be versatile in many different ways, on and off the court. Management has done a tremendous job providing the team with flexibility with the roster, from both a match-up or a salary cap perspective. Lets take a closer look at just how versatile the Cavaliers are on and off the court.
Cavs can match-up with any team in the league
The Cavs have depth up and down the roster, especially with big men (assuming that they can stay healthy). Mike Brown will have his hands full trying to distribute the minutes and touches. The beautiful thing about this kind of situation is that Brown has the luxury of playing "match-up basketball". During the regular season, you play a different team with a different style every night. However, within the Cavs lies many different styles available. If we are playing Detroit or Indiana, we can go big with: Bynum and Varajeo along with Bennet or Clark at the 3. If we are playing Golden State or NYC, and other teams that go small, we can put: Kyrie, Dion, and Jack out there with two bigs, If Cavs need to space the floor and stretch the defense, a line-up of: Irving, Jack, Karasev, Bennett/Clark, and a big. As you can see, the Cavs have a lot of line-up combinations they can try. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't have a set rotation until we're closer to the playoffs. Most of the season, Coach Brown may base his rotation off of the schedule and play the best line-up for that night (excluding the injury factor that would obviously change his rotation).
Cavs cap space/assets in comparison to other NBA teams
Along with having one of the deepest teams in the NBA, the Cavs have equal or greater versatility off the court over the next few years. Here is the list of assets the Cavaliers have earned or acquired over the last couple years:
- Multiple first round draft picks (including 2 guaranteed in next years loaded draft and possible 3)
- Multiple second round draft picks
- Terrific young players with much potential
- Established veterans that can be included in our own deal or involved in 3-way trade as deal facilitators
- Anderson Varajeo and his expiring contract (also, contract yr so should be motivated to play well)
- Cap space for next year free agency
- Kyrie Irving (not as a trade asset, rather an asset to help win games/attract players to play with Cavs)
The job that Chris Grant has done managing the team has been magnificent. In my opinion, the Cavs are the team in position to make the next blockbuster trade. Even if that trade never comes for them, great job by Grant in climbing from the lowest bottom you can fall to in the NBA (26 straight losses, seen every last one of them) . By acquiring all of the above mentioned assets, Grant has many options. He could trade a package of the draft picks, young players, and veterans for an established superstar to pair with Kyrie Irving. Another option for Grant remains the fact that he has a maximum contract available to offer to the top players in the NBA next year. If Grant can sign a superstar free agent to the team he has now, the Cavs are back in title contention. One underrated option, and understandably improbable, is that Andrew Bynum could come back and turn into the second star on the team. Another improbable, but more likely than the Bynum option, is that Dion or Bennett could develop into the second star on the team. As you can see, the Cavs have many options rather it be with getting a second star next to Kyrie, line-up options, or options with all of the assets they have. Its safe to say that the Cleveland Cavaliers will be mentioned with the best NBA teams in the near future.
*One other fun fact: Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson changed his shooting hand from left to right, literally making him and the Cavs more versatile. Talk about having options!