Over the course of the past few days, the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise and their fans have experienced a feeling that the entire city has felt far too often when it has come to their sports teams. However, despite the gut-wrenching feeling The Land is experiencing with potentially losing one of the Association’s best young talents, the Cavaliers may have just positioned themselves to become a better team now, and, in the future.
The phone has undoubtedly been ringing off the hook at the
LeBron James household general manager offices in Quicken Loans Arena as teams are gearing up to offer up their best packages for Uncle Drew. But Cleveland doesn’t have to jump on the first great offer for Kyrie Irving, With that said, if there is one team that exemplifies the adage “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” that would be the Cavaliers. Thus, don’t expect the Cavs to be gun-shy.
Now, to Monday’s events…
The signing of Derrick Rose wasn’t a surprise seeing that the Cavs were in the market for a backup point guard anyway. However, the signing of Rose to a poultry $2.1 million bones when other teams had better offers on the table showed that the Cleveland brass is ready to move on.
Derrick Rose and the Cavaliers agreed to a one-year deal for $2.1 million contract Monday after spending the day together, discussing how the team will return to the Finals without Kyrie Irving.
Details are slowly emerging, but it probably doesn’t take a hoops genius to figure out that Derrick Rose and the Cavaliers were discussing much more than painting a picture to Rose of the vital role he will be counted on in spelling Irving for 15 minutes a game. In fact, unless we are all taking the excerpt out of context here – highly unlikely – this would sound like the Cavs are banking on Rose to play an instrumental role as the team’s starting point guard. Oh, and the soon-to-be 29 year-old, Rose, dropped 18 points per game last year for the dysfunctional New York Knicks – ’nuff said.
And that’s not all. LeBron James apparently has weighed in with his thoughts of Kyrie.
Joe Vardon, who wrote this article, is a trusted beat writer who covers the Cavaliers. His story indicates that Rose could start for Cleveland next season and that this may have been discussed when the two sides met on Monday.
It’s also particularly noteworthy to learn that James is “eager to see [Irving] off” as this would mean Rose is poised to play major minutes for the Cavaliers. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski adds that Rose was in communication with James before he signed with Cleveland.
I’d like to repeat that first line of the second paragraph again:
“It’s also particularly noteworthy to learn that James is “eager to see [Irving] off”
In addition to that statement, Rose was obviously in contact with Bron-Bron as the aforementioned excerpt notes via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski – one of the best in the business.
Despite whatever you think of Rose, and his injury-prone career, his game and Kyrie’s game are not that far apart. While Kyrie is a better shooter, and, at this point of his career, an overall better offensive player, they both are very isolation heavy/similar players. Rose did show last season that he still has the explosiveness to get into the teeth of the defense and also finish around the rim.
Nobody would argue that swapping Rose for Irving is an upgade, but if the subsequent monster trade that is reportedly being offered by the Phoenix Suns takes place, the Cavs might have closed the gap with the Golden State Warriors.
According to ESPN, the Suns would consider trading guard Eric Bledsoe, this year’s first-round draft pick Josh Jackson, and a future pick in exchange for Irving.
Adding Bledsoe and Jackson to a roster would make a lot of sense for the Cavs.
Bledsoe could either start alone, start alongside newly acquired guard Derrick Rose or come off the bench while Jackson would have James as a mentor at the wing position.
Eric Bledsoe is one of the most explosive athletes in the league who at 27 years-old is still under contract for the next two seasons making a very modest $14.5 and $15 million over each of the next two seasons. The knock on Bledsoe is that he, like Rose, is also injury-prone. In 66 games last season, Bledsoe dropped 21 points, dished out 6 dimes, and grabbed 5 boards a game. It’s also important to note that Bledsoe and LeBron are close friends.
Now to sound like an infomercial. “But that’s not all.”
In the proposed deal, the Cavaliers would be getting potentially the best player in this year’s loaded draft, Josh Jackson, AND a future draft pick. The details of the draft pick are unknown according to this report, but if it’s a future first-round draft pick, the Cavaliers would have even more options for the 2017-18 season and beyond.
Jackson has some similarities to a former number one pick the Cavaliers drafted a few years ago, Andrew Wiggins. While there are question marks in Jackson’s game, he should immediately become a defensive stopper even as a rookie. His athleticism is unquestionable and potential is as great as any young player in the NBA. Playing with LeBron would only enhance Jackson’s abilities while giving the Cavaliers another player to throw at a Kevin Durant – or Steph Curry.
Lastly, when you consider the Cavs still have players like Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love, there is absolutely no reason to believe Cleveland wouldn’t be right back in the NBA Finals the next season. If the Cavs wanted to take a gamble, they always could trade Love or Thompson – in addition to the future draft pick they were to receive from the Suns in the previous aforementioned deal – and bring in another major piece they felt would put them over the top in a potential fourth straight meeting against the Golden State Warriors in next year’s NBA Finals.
The point is, Kyrie Irving’s trade demand might have not just saved the Cavaliers from returning to NBA purgatory following a potential LeBron James exit in the summer of 2018, but instead, set them up for many more years of success.