The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the midst of a major shift. The chaos is real. Management is doing what they can to adjust to a flurry of recent events, however, the change is inevitable. The super team that brought the city its long awaited NBA championship in 2016 is breaking apart. The team that arguably was a perennial threat to all other teams in the Eastern Conference in 2016-17 and upset the top-seeded Boston Celtics in the playoffs, that Cleveland Cavaliers team, will not be the same this 2017-18.
On July 7th, their incumbent all-star point guard, Kyrie Irving requested to be traded. He named four teams as preferred destinations: Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and New York Knicks. Several reasons were cited for his decision. First, that he was miffed by the fact that his name was floated in many trade rumors over the offseason as the team pursued talented assets in Paul George and Jimmy Butler. Second, he reportedly wants to be in a situation where he can be the star of the team, a place where he can plant his own flag of success and emerge from behind the shadow of future Hall-of-Famer teammate, LeBron James. As of now, the situation regarding Irving’s status remains fluid as the franchise exercises due diligence in exploring all options to get the most value and assets they can in a trade for one of the league’s top point guards. Irving. still 25 years young, can still be at the core of a competitive team.
Irving’s impending departure is a red flag. At the very least, this issue does not bode well as far as the potential of re-signing LeBron next season is concerned. The worst case scenario would be that the star assesses the situation in Cleveland to be a dried well and will want to move on and seek a fresh start elsewhere.
The Cavs recently signed former MVP awardee Derrick Rose to a 1-year deal worth $2.1 million. James is reportedly “eager” to get Irving traded as soon as possible after this development. Rose’ signing could not come at a better time. The oft-injured guard, who is looking to find a spark to ignite a renaissance of his downhill sliding career, could be in line to fill the void of an Irving exodus. At least, he will do his best given his physical limitations. Rose has undergone multiple surgeries to address a plethora of issues to his knees, among other assorted injuries. His signing with Cleveland means that every MVP award winner since 2009 to 2016 is either with the Cavaliers or the Golden State Warriors.
The dust is far from settled at least when it comes to this developing state of flux in Cleveland. And yet we are already assured to see a new-look for them this 2017-18.