This NBA offseason has certainly came and gone very rapidly. It consisted of a ton of moving pieces, including multiple superstars that will be suiting up for a different team this coming season.
The biggest splash of the summer was the trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics. This was a huge trade because of the quality of players the Cleveland Cavaliers got in return.
The Cavaliers received Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets’ pick. On the surface, this deal appears to help address the issue of depth for the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers had a huge issue with depth last season, especially in the finals.
The Cavaliers may have appeared deep on paper, but they were not deep in playmaking ability and versatility. What I mean by that is that they did not have enough players that could get their own shot or create one for others. This role was heavily put on LeBron James and Kyrie’s backs. Because of this, the Cavaliers could not compete against the Golden State Warriors and lost in five games.
One constant for the Cavaliers this season, however, is LeBron. LeBron has had a very rough start to the season already, despite it still being preseason. He tweaked his ankle in a practice last week, and according to people around the Cavaliers, it was not just your typical mild sprain.
LeBron made his preseason debut yesterday against the Chicago Bulls. While he was pretty efficient on offense, there did seem to be some timing and rust issues with his passing and playmaking. This was obviously expected given that he hasn’t had enough time to practice with the multitude of new acquisitions.
Earlier today, the team announced that they would shut LeBron down for the rest of the preseason. There are also some concerns that he may miss the highly anticipated opener against the Celtics. While many would love to see Kyrie and LeBron go at it in a week, the Cavaliers are making a very bright decision. They have not completely ruled him out yet, but they will definitely make sure he is 100% before having him on the court.
No matter how many acquisitions the Cavaliers have made, the team goes as LeBron goes. There is no reason to risk his health or turn this into a lingering issue throughout the season. The Cavaliers are looking at the big picture and will heavily monitor LeBron’s health leading up to the season opener.
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