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Just when it looked like rock bottom was within shouting distance once again, the basketball gods handed the Cleveland Cavaliers the NBA equivalent of a get-out-of-jail-free card—once again.
That card, of course, is the first overall pick in the most lauded draft since the historic 2003 class.
Whether it be Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid or Jabari Parker, Cleveland will be adding one of the generation's more promising pieces to Kyrie Irving—perhaps the game's most intriguing young point guard.
That pick is only the first factor contributing to this offseason's importance in Cleveland. The second is Irving, who has already weathered his fair share of Cavs-esque turbulence over his brief career.
In just his third season, reports about the then 21-year-old point guard's desire to leave Cleveland emerged, leaving Cavs fans with the most unsettling form of deja vu to date. In January, ESPN.com's Chad Ford wrote in an online chat that Irving "has been telling people privately he wants out."
Irving is under team control on his rookie contract for three more years, which makes it difficult for him to force a trade. But with Mike Brown out as coach, new general manager David Griffin in place and with the first pick this summer, it's possible that Irving's outlook with Cleveland may have changed.
Which ties in the third piece of the puzzle for the Cavaliers this summer: Of course, LeBron James.
James may opt out this summer and enter free agency, and Cleveland will be one of the teams with sufficient cap room to sign him.
A LeBron-Cavs reunion tour has been speculated about ever since King James decided to leave his home state for South Beach. But now, for the first time, there's actually a slight possibility of it becoming reality.
It's still unlikely that James goes anywhere this offseason, but potentially teaming with Irving and Wiggins, Parker or Embiid would be worth considering if James is interested in returning to his first NBA home with eyes on leading a younger group to championship heights.
It sounds cute and tidy. The storybook twist in James' career arc fit for Hollywood.
But ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, who has covered LeBron throughout the entirety of his career, seems to find it unlikely that things will come full circle this offseason:
The idea of James trading in playing with teammates in their 30s for up-and-coming players in their 20s where he wouldn't have to carry as much of a load is a conversation starter for sure. But James is in a special zone that few people ever reach in any profession -- he doesn't have to compromise on anything and he can demand the premium.
Never lose sight of that reality; you can be assured that James will not.
It's reasonable to believe that he feels his work is unfinished in Cleveland, but at 29, LeBron still has several prime seasons left to compete for rings with a bona fide Heat roster. The counterargument to that would be that any team James plays for instantly morphs into a title contender, which is largely true. It's what leaves this door constantly cracked open.
With a new GM, a new coach on the way, a budding star at point guard, Wiggins, Embiid or Parker in the pipelines and loads of cap room to spend (and, apparently, luck forever on its side), this summer is shaping up to be the most important one Cleveland has faced in some time.
Let's see if the Cavs can surprise us and put it all together.