There has been a lot of movement during the current NBA offseason. While a bunch of All-Star talent has moved to the Western Conference, Gordon Hayward signing with the Boston Celtics was the Eastern Conference’s largest move.
The back-to-back-to-back Eastern champion Cleveland Cavaliers have been relatively quiet, adding veteran backup point guard Jose Calderon and versatile wing Jeff Green to their talented core.
With rumors swirling that superstar LeBron James is planning to leave Cleveland after next season, the franchise should seemingly make him as happy as possible with the threat that it could possibly be his last season with the Cavs.
According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, James has become increasingly frustrated with the team’s inability to make any major moves as well as David Griffin’s departure this summer.
“Expecting an aggressive offseason approach that would close the gap on the champion Golden State Warriors, James soon found his anticipation and optimism diminished after Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert dismantled the front office, declining days before the draft and free agency to bring back general manager David Griffin and vice president of basketball operations Trent Redden,” Zillgitt wrote.
He continued, “Gilbert’s decision left the Cavs without the franchise’s top two front-office execs at a critical time, and it left James frustrated and concerned about the team’s ability to put together a roster that can better compete with Golden State, the person with direct knowledge of James’ thinking told USA TODAY Sports. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.”
It’s easy to understand why LeBron is feeling some frustration.
The Golden State Warriors, who manhandled the Cavs in the NBA Finals, bolstered their depth, adding Nick Young and Omri Casspi while re-signing Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston to keep their core in tact.
The Houston Rockets acquired Chris Paul. The Celtics landed Hayward. The Minnesota Timberwolves traded for Jimmy Butler and signed a veteran bunch of Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford in free agency.
Cleveland was in the running for Crawford’s services, but couldn’t offer what Minnesota did for the three-time Sixth Man of the Year due to salary cap issues.
While the Celtics certainly improved this offseason, the Cavs are still the team to beat in the East, even if they didn’t make any big moves. But, if they expect to retain James next summer and moving forward, the franchise needs to make building their roster to compete with the Warriors the utmost priority.