The 2014-15 season was both a success and a letdown for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The franchise was able to reach the NBA Finals after four long seasons , however they lost in the Finals after a great offseason in which they signed LeBron James and Kevin Love to form their own version of the Big Three. Cleveland also made some key trades last season. J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov joined the team and they all proved to be vital for the team’s success in both the regular season and the postseason.
The Cavaliers played their best basketball after the All-Star break and as they entered the playoffs, it looked like nobody can stop them in their quest for a title. Unfortunately, luck was not on their side and Kevin Love got injured in the first-round and therefore did not compete for the remainder of the playoffs. Not only that, they lost Kyrie Irving in the first game of the NBA Finals after hurting his left knee. The Cavaliers eventually lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games, leaving their fans a bit disappointed. The Cavaliers are set to make a run for the title once again in the upcoming season.
Cleveland succeeded in reaching an agreement with superstar power forward, Kevin Love, signing a five-year $110 million contract. The fact that Love has chosen to remain with the Cavaliers is an enormous success for the franchise, as it was evident during the playoffs how critical his contribution was for the team. His ability to knock down three pointers is one of his biggest strengths and David Blatt took full advantage of that. Love was often used as a stretch four and even though he did not always seem happy with that role, he accepted it and soon flourished. It is expected that Love will once again be used in a similar way and that will certainly cause a lot of problems for opposing defenses.
The most significant deal for the Cavs this offseason was re-signing LeBron James to a two-year $47 million deal. This gave a big sigh of relief to the management, as they most certainly do not want to lose Lebron. Rejoining him are Iman Shumpert and Mo Williams. The addition of Williams in the backcourt certainly improves the Cavaliers depth, a problem that was exposed in the Finals when Irving was injured. Mo brings a lot of veteran leadership and from his last season stats it is evident that he still has a lot of gas left in the tank.
The only question left for the Cavaliers is whether they will be able to re-sign J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson. There were several reports that Thompson has already agreed to a new contract and it will be signed in the next couple of weeks. Bringing back the big man will be important for Cleveland – he is a great offensive rebounder and can also guard multiple positions. A lot more interesting is the case of J.R Smith, because neither side has shown any commitment yet – albeit the guard has stated in an interview that he would like to return with the Cavs.
The Cavaliers should be praised for their offseason efforts, as they succeeded to maintain all the guys in their Finals run. It is safe to say that Cleveland will definitely reach the NBA Finals next June. There is no team in the East that could challenge them along the way.