The Cleveland Cavaliers obviously took a massive step forward when they added four-time MVP LeBron James this summer. But it takes more than the best player on the planet in order to be considered a top contender to be holding the Larry O'Brien Trophy in June. This reality is reflected in NBA.com's power rankings, which have the Cavaliers behind the Chicago Bulls in the East, as well as five other Western Conference teams.
The defending champs, the San Antonio Spurs, sit atop the rankings followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls before the Cavaliers come in at seventh. The Cavs' ranking came accompanied with the following opinion on theeir decision between Andrew Wiggins and Kevin Love:
The debate over trading the No. 1 pick in what was a much-hyped draft for an established All-Star is fascinating, especially since the rookie may already be the better defensive player. Ultimately, the Cavs have to do whatever James tells them to. But there's no reason they can't wait a few months to see what Wiggins can do.
I don't necessarily agree that this decision is going to be based solely on what LeBron James wants. There are legitimate reasons for desiring Kevin Love over Andrew Wiggins. David Griffin must weigh how long he believes it will take for Wiggins to reach the point where he can be a top three player on a championship team, and how much of LeBron's prime will be remaining at that point. Presenting this as a decision that's in LeBron's hands seems like a misrepresentation, in my opinion.
The article accompanying the rankings also stated that if the Cavaliers would swap Wiggins for Love, it would vault them to the top of their conference, and understandably so.
The Cavaliers will also obviously need to shore up their stable of big men in order to climb up these rankings and legitimatize their title dreams. This is a glaring need for the Cavs whether or not they decide to swap Wiggins for Love. There's plenty of time left in the offseason for the Cavaliers to make personnel decisions to help improve their standing in the league, and for the core that they will move forward with to take shape.