After going down 4-2 to the Golden State Warriors in the 2015 NBA Finals the Cleveland Cavaliers learnt the hard way that building a team capable of winning the Larry O'Brien Trophy takes more than having the best player in the world on your roster.
With the Finals losers under pressure to upgrade that roster, especially after LeBron James opted out earlier this month, they have been linked with a number of trade moves for experienced role players in recent days.
One such move, for Los Angeles Clippers star Jamal Crawford, was believed to be a legitimate option. Now, though, the Miami Heat have reportedly thrown their hat into the ring for the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Article continues below
According to Cleveland.com, the Cavaliers are willing to use Brendan Haywood's $10.5 million, non-guaranteed salary as part of a move to acquire Jamal Crawford. That money could prove very appealing to the Clippers as they look to replace the departed DeAndre Jordan.
The same publication though has also revealed that the Miami Heat, per league sources, have entered the race to add the combo guard in an effort to add experienced back up for Dwyane Wade.
With LeBron James having long been an admirer of the bench scoring ability of Crawford it is somewhat ironic that the four-time NBA MVP's former employers have emerged as the main rivals to the Cavaliers for Crawford.
Some reports are suggesting Pat Riley and the Heat could look to offer either Josh McRoberts or Mario Chalmers to Los Angeles but whether Miami could create a package that would put them ahead of Cleveland - should the Clippers feel inclined to deal away the 35-year-old - remains to be seen.
It is no surprise that Jamal Crawford, despite coming of a down year partly affected by injury, is garnering interest. He remains an excellent ball-handling veteran with top shooting ability. For the Cavs, they could upgrade on the erratic J.R. Smith, whilst Miami could add insurance should injuries hit top stars again next year.
What's more, Crawford is owed just $5.7 million next season meaning his talents wouldn't cost the Earth.
At this stage it is unclear which franchise, if any, are leading the way to get a trade deal done but it looks like these two franchises have a new player to quarrel over after last year's LeBron James saga.