It has been an absolutely wild off season in the NBA. Blockbuster trades have gone down as big name stars swapped jerseys in a summer that has shaken the landscape of the league. After Paul George, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and Isaiah Thomas all found new homes, the madness was added to yesterday as scoring machine Carmelo Anthony left Madison Square Garden for Oklahoma City. This created a new contender in the Oklahoma City Thunder, who now have a legitimate Big Three of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and “Melo”.
As another star moves out West, the path for the Cleveland Cavaliers to retain their status as the best team in the Eastern Conference grew. The Cavs have been by far the best team in the East for the past three seasons, and you’d have to be a brave person to bet against them remaining on top on the East again this upcoming campaign.
With that being said, the Cavaliers themselves have had a makeover of their own this offseason. As everyone knows, they shipped off Irving in a blockbuster deal which brought Thomas along with Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic to The Land. With training camp right around the corner, current Cavs players will have to familiarize themselves with their new teammates. It’s likely they’ll fit in just fine, as former MVP Derrick Rose will assume the point guard responsibilities as Thomas recovers from his hip injury, and Crowder will slide right into a 3-point sniper and defensive stopper role for the Wine and Gold.
Despite the other mammoth trades transpiring around the association, as always, the spotlight has remained on Cleveland. When you have the best player in the world, it’s expected, but the Cavs have had to listen to the outside noise more so than in recent memory, as a big part of their offense in Irving left for Boston. The heartbreak soon turned into excitement, as the package in return for Uncle Drew was more than enough to see him walk, despite it still hurting.
The Cavs continued to be dissected in the following days, and although they said goodbye to a special offensive talent, the vast majority of personalities around the league believe the Cavs actually got better this off season. One of those people was former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who joined the panel on ESPN’s “The Jump” to proclaim just that.
John Patrick Postrado ·
John Patrick Postrado ·
Jackson is one of many who believe letting Irving walk actually may benefit the Cavs in the long run. They got bigger and more athletic on the wings, as Jackson stressed, but they’ll also expect for Thomas to return just in time for the late-season grind.
It’s hard to imagine a team that let a special talent in Kyrie Irving actually improve, but it seems they’ve done just that.