It seems like we say this every year but I really believe this time it’s true. This upcoming off season for the Cavs will be the most important in team history. Owner Dan Gilbert needs to decide which direction he’s going to take the team.
@CavsDan has many important decisions to make. Does he make David Griffin his fulltime General Manager or does he go out and bring in new blood? Will he hire a President of Basketball Operations type? If he does, there are rumors circulating that the names atop that list are former “Bad Boys” Joe Dumars, who reportedly will resign his position with the Pistons soon, or Isaiah Thomas. If either one is hired, it’s possible Gilbert could keep David Griffin as G.M. and have him answer to Dumars or Thomas.
Whenever this brain trust is finally put together their first decision will be to decide should they keep Mike Brown on as the team’s head coach? If not, who do you replace him with?
After that decision is made, next on the check list is do you offer Kyrie Irving the maximum 5-year contract? Do you believe in his brittle body, but made skills enough to make him the focal point of your team moving forward? If you do offer “Uncle Drew” the max and he turns it down and wants a shorter contract, then do you avoid getting burned again like you did with a former local high school star turned NBA MVP and try and trade him if he’s sending you messages he could leave ? If Irving does accept the max contract then you have to figure out if he and Dion Waiters can co-exist on the same team. If you think they can, you don’t do anything. If you think they can’t, then you have to begin the process of trying to trade Waiters and get equal value in return.
After that determination is made, next up on the to do list is which of your own free agents or contract option players do you keep or trade to free up cap space. The important names on that list are free agents Luol Deng, Spencer Hawes and C.J. Miles and team option players Anderson Varejao, Alonzo Gee and Scottie Hopson.
What you do there, then leads into maybe your biggest decision of all and that is do you go after LeBron James in free agency if he opts out of his contract with the Miami Heat. If he doesn’t opt out, or you decide not to target him, then what is “Plan B” and who will you target with all of your cap space in free agency? Do you go after Carmelo Anthony? Is Gordon Hayward your small forward of the future? Do you go after a veteran like Pau Gasol or Rudy Gay or Danny Granger?
You could also go another route and try and make a blockbuster trade to bring in an impact player like Kevin Love, but would you have to give up to get him?
And on top of all of that, unless a miracle happens, you once again will be picking in the lottery. As of now you would have the ninth most ping pong balls in the hopper. You better hope that Nick Gilbert’s bow-tie has a lot of luck left in it to get a top 3 pick if you want to land a projected franchise type player. If not, then your new front office will have to do a better job than they did last year in selecting the right player in the draft to help your struggling franchise. Even if it’s not a top three pick, you can’t afford to swing and miss like you did with Anthony Bennett.
So I think it’s safe to say that this “IS” the most important off season in Cavaliers franchise history and it falls squarely on the shoulders of owner Dan Gilbert to make all the right decisions to turn it around.