LayupDrill.com will be breaking down every team in the league, with a brief review of the 2008-09 season, key personnel decisions, draft options, trade options, and overall state of the franchise.
Consider this, your favorite team's State of the Union.
We interrupt our NBA Finals coverage with our next team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Heading into the most important offseason in franchise history, the Cavs know they have to upgrade, and win, right now, or gamble with the prospect of their franchise player leaves town next summer.
Cleveland had practically as good a regular season as a team can have, setting a franchise record in wins, seeing their coach (Mike Brown) and star (LeBron James) pick up awards on the way.
Unfortunately for them, Cleveland’s weaknesses were exposed against the Orlando Magic, and they were dominated in the East Conference Finals.
Wally Szczerbiak— As good as gone.
Joe Smith—Probably not coming back, either.
Lorenzen Wright—Gone, too.
Anderson Varejao—Can opt out to become a free agent, or remain and earn $6.2 million next season.
Big Z—He's already said he isn’t opting out of his deal.
First Round Draft Pick Options
The Cavs select 30th in the upcoming draft, and would like to address the need for frontcourt or wing help. A player like Sam Young or Derrick Brown could be there.
Free Agent/Trade Options
This is where Cleveland will have to look for help. There are three players, that if brought in, could be the missing ingredients needed to win the elusive NBA title.
1. Chris Andersen—The Birdman would be an upgrade over Varejao, and could ignite Cleveland’s defense, with the same hustle plays and scrap work that Varejao made his career on.
2. Rasheed Wallace—Sheed could play both the power forward position aside Big Z, as well as the center spot if Birdman was on the floor with him. His range would make big men on opposing teams play him out on the wing, and free the lanes for LeBron to create.
3. Jason Kidd—I was torn between Kidd and Andre Miller here, but I think Kidd commands a cheaper price tag. I expect Cleveland to have plenty of competition for his services from top title contenders.
A potential 2009-10 rotation could include Mo Williams and Delonte West at the guards, James, Sheed, and Big Z in the front court. Birdman, Sam Young, and Boobie Gibson off the bench. Not a bad rotation.
The Cavs know their time is now, and with the Celtics getting healthy, and the Magic getting better, next season won’t be as easy as it was this year.