The Cleveland Cavaliers have had the struggles typical of a team three years removed from losing one of the best players in franchise history. Since LeBron James left in 2010, the Cavs have picked in the top five four times. That includes having the No. 1 overall pick twice in the last three years.
On the bright side, those high draft picks have allowed Cleveland to rebuild nicely in the post-LeBron era. Former Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving continues to stake his claim to the league's top point guard mantle.
Last year's No. 4 overall pick, Dion Waiters, had a strong rookie campaign, averaging 14.7 points per game and shooting 41 percent from the field. This year, the team added supremely athletic forward Anthony Bennett with the No. 1 overall pick, as well as Russian sharpshooter Sergey Karasev later in the draft.
The team's best moves, however, came in free agency. The Cavs took a chance that Andrew Bynum's injury woes are behind him and he can go back to being one of the game's best big men. Bynum missed all of last season with a knee injury.
They also added guard Jarrett Jack to bolster the second unit, as well as versatile forward Earl Clark.
Like so many of the teams on this list, health will be the biggest factor in the Cavs' short-term and long-term success. Bynum's lack of durability is well-documented. On top of that, Irving has yet to play a full season as a pro. Last year's 59 games was a career best for the former Duke Blue Devil.
Then there's Anthony Bennett's shoulder issue. The UNLV product underwent rotator cuff surgery in May, which kept him out of draft workouts and the summer league. The rookie should be ready for the start of the season, but it will be interesting to see what kind of shape he's in.
If they are at full strength when the season opens, the Cavs have a chance to be a real menace. Irving, Waiters, Bennett, Tristan Thompson and Bynum is an impressive rotation. On the bench, Jack, Clark, Karasev and Anderson Varejao are a better foursome than some starting lineups.
The East has been King James' property for a while now. With some luck in the health department, Kyrie Irving and Co. won't be watching the throne. They'll be sabotaging it.