On the Greatest Offseason in Cleveland Sports History

Kyrie LeBron Love Cavs Photoshop

Name the last time a Cleveland team signed the best player in the league. Now give an example of when a Cleveland team acquired a top ten player in the league. How about when was the last time free agents took less money to play on a Cleveland team? Okay, now tell me when a team has been able to do this in one offseason. Can’t come up with one? This answer leads me to say that the last two months for the Cleveland Cavaliers has been the single best offseason in the history of the Cleveland professional sports.

On Saturday, the Cavaliers officially made the long awaited trade for Kevin Love. The deal involved the Cavs sending first-round picks Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and a future first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. In return, the Cavaliers landed a top ten player who averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds last season.

Love is a scoring machine who can make baskets in the post, mid-range, and perimeter. Last season he shot 45.7% from the field and 37.6% from behind the three-point line. His scoring versatility gives defenders fits. Along with his scoring, he also possesses elite rebounding skills—the 12.5 rebounds he averaged last season was the third most in the NBA. He gets great position in the paint and uses his strong hands to rake the glass. As if that wasn’t enough, Love has top-tier passing ability, creating easy baskets for his teammates because of his ability to throw down court to players leaking out on a fast break. And just think: This level of talent was only the second-best addition this offseason.

kevin love pass

The unbelievable momentum first started when the best player in the league, LeBron James, chose to come back and play in Cleveland, winning services of the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player. James is hands down the top player in the league and a great teammate to play with—the “LeBron James bump” is a real thing. He is one of the best passers in the game, possessing the ability to see over the defense and find the open teammate with a quick and accurate delivery. James is one of the elite drivers in the league because of his athleticism. His penetration can not only help his scoring ability but it also makes the defense collapse on him leaving his teammates open for easier baskets. He has improved his outside shooting ability, shooting 37.9% from behind the three-point line. Yet his versatility on defense is one of his best qualities, having the ability to guard any position on the floor because of his athleticism and intelligence. James and Love give the Cavs a combo many could only dream of acquiring in separate offseasons let alone one.

lebron james dunk vs BOS

The team boasts a new “Big 3” with Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Kevin Love. This trio is considered by many to be the best one in the NBA. They have games that are very compatible with each other and all three players are in or entering the prime of their respective careers. But the Cavs added more then just the “Big 3.”

Over the last few weeks, the team was able to sign multiple free agent veterans for less than market value. The first addition of the offseason was the signing of sharp shooters Mike Miller and James Jones. Both players were drawn to Cavs because of James returning to Cleveland. The latest addition in free agency is the commitment of Shawn Marion to play next season. He will take less money to come and play with the new look Cavaliers, adding even more versatility to the wing.

shawn marion

The offseason culminated with the trade for Love on Saturday, but it may not even be over. The Cavs are still in the running for veteran shooting guard Ray Allen. Reports say that he is leaning toward playing for the Cavs next season which would strengthen the already experienced and deep bench the team has accumulated. The team may also look to add a center to further bolster their big man depth, linked to players like Denver’s Timofey Mozgov and, more recently, Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

As the offseason has already proven, anything can happen with David Griffin and the Cavaliers. They have transformed a roster full of players like Alonzo Gee, CJ Miles, Luol Deng, Andrew Bynum, Jarrett Jack, and Spencer Hawes into a roster of LeBron James, Kevin Love, Mike Miller, James Jones and Shawn Marion. This new and improved Cavs are now considered one of the favorites to win not just the Eastern Conference championship, but also the NBA championship. Not a bad shift in fortunes for a team that was an NBA Lottery mainstay for the last four summers.

(Picture courtesy of Bleacher Report)

  • Balcar

    I could watch these Gifs all day.

  • Lunch

    Just think what the Cavs offseason would look like now if “The Season of… PROGRESS” (FTFY) never occurred, and they made the playoffs:

    Made the playoffs: Yep
    Win the championship: Nope
    Head coach: Mike Brown
    GM: Chris Grant
    Cavs get 1st pick? Nope
    Andrew Wiggins Slides down to whatever draft pick we end up with? Not likely
    Cavs trade for Kevin Love? Not likely since Wiggins isn’t a Cav.
    LeBron comes back home? Very Likely, but might decide otherwise because Mike Brown would be coaching him again.
    Free agents coming to Cavs to play along side LeBron? Not as many because they don’t like Mike Brown, and/or they don’t see the Cavs as a contender.
    (did I miss any?)

  • Steve

    “Now give an example of when a Cleveland team acquired a top ten player in the league. How about when was the last time free agents took less money to play on a Cleveland team?”

    Because I’m the stickler – Roberto Alomar. But yeah, this is a good as it gets for any team, not just a Cleveland team.

  • Steve

    Yeah, you missed a few more potshots at Mike Brown.

  • RGB

    Andre Rison?
    (Subsequent results nonwithstanding…)

  • Steve

    Well, he certainly didn’t take less money to come here, and he was only 16th in receiving yards the year before he joined the Browns, but top five the previous two years.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Potshots? Brown was horrible he deserves as much criticism as possible.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    This is what it feels like to have a major league team unlike what the Indians provide and especially what the Browns feature.

    http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/wazzup.gif

  • RGB

    I keed. I keed.
    But, we were pretty excited…

  • mgbode

    About as excited as getting Blackjack McDowell

  • Tanisha Workman

    Our family has four Seasons Tickets to the Cavs. We are relocating this December. And we are leaving our tickets to friends. But not, to the playoffs.
    We have decided to raffle off [with the proceed to the Ronald McDonald House] our finals seats. Of course, the Cavs, might not make the Finals. But all the experts seem to think so.
    We will draw seven numbers, the first four are guaranteed. Five six, and seven, well, are simply a gamble. Therefore a total of 28 raffle tickets will drawn. (Hence, each drawing is for a single seat, at a single game.)

    Raffle tickets are just $10. each You may buy as many as you’d like.
    The raffle will be, one night only, tonight, from 7P.M.-8:30P.M., so that your odds are quite good.
    Please bring a business card to affix to your raffle stub.
    My staffer for this, lives in Lakewood, so please text the above number, for details ‘as to the where’ in accommodating this small event.

    Thanks, Cleveland for the memories. And, go Cavs.
    (216) 456-4002