“We’re in a very peculiar place.” These are the words of NBA 2k18 cover boy Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers. This statement comes after LeBron James has expressed his discontent with the organization after the firing of former general manager David Griffin.
The statement itself is peculiar, as the Cavaliers remain the best team in the Eastern Conference on paper despite having only added guard Jose Calderon and forwards Cedi Osman and Jeff Green. Conference rival Boston Celtics won big in the draft, rid themselves of Avery Bradley’s contract, and brought in superstar forward Gordon Hayward.
Otherwise, the Eastern Conference as a whole has grown weaker with stars Paul George, Paul Millsap, Rajon Rondo, and Jimmy Butler heading out to the Western Conference.. A deal to send Carmelo Anthony to the Houston Rockets is currently in the works, but regardless the Eastern Conference maintains only 1 of the top 14 players in the NBA per last season’s rankings.
The Cavaliers recognize they are a championship contender, but this past NBA Finals proved that they did not have enough as the Golden State Warriors embarrassed them en route to winning the series in 5 games. That’s where the concern comes in. There were initially talks of deals sending Butler, PG, and Melo coming to Cleveland but they all fell through. With talks of King James potentially taking his talents to the Los Angeles Lakers growing by the day, it is understand for Kyrie to be concerned. It wasn’t too long ago he was the #1 guy on the Cavaliers and the playoffs were merely a dream.
With not too much talent left on the free agent market, the potential for the Cavs to make a move that gives them the edge over any Western Conference team, especially the Warriors, appears highly unlikely. How much longer the “Championship DNA” contributed to the Cavs by LeBron James will be around is also looking uncertain. This season will be a big one for many teams.