The Cleveland Cavaliers have finished an offseason of improvement. After reaching the NBA finals and losing in six games to the Golden State Warriors, the Cavaliers spent their summer fighting to retain all of the players that made them great and added more players to the lineup.
The biggest struggle of the summer was the fight to resign the rebounding phenomenon power forward Tristan Thompson. Thompson helped LeBron James lead the Cavaliers through the postseason after all-star power forward Kevin Love’s shoulder was torn out of place by Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk in the last game of the first round.
The Cavaliers are one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference again this year, and are presumed to have a very good chance of winning it all.
After losing the Finals to the Warriors, Dan Gilbert and company set out on a single mission: resign everyone and improve the roster. Almost immediately into the free agent signing period, James, Love, fan-favorite Matthew “Delly” Dellavedova, James Jones, Timofey Mozgov and Iman Shumpert.
It took the Cavalier executives a long while to resign wing player J.R. Smith, who declined to pick up his player option and ended up signing back with Cleveland for less money than he would have, otherwise. A long list of resigned players that eased the nerves of Cleveland fans everywhere. Last, but certainly not least, was the resigning of Thompson, which continued all summer into Oct. 21.
The Cavaliers have also added new talent to the squad, including former Cavalier Mo Williams, who last played with the Cavaliers during the first “LeBron era”, and was traded to the Clippers in return for the draft pick that turned into All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. The new talent has helped to bolster a team that was already strong, and has filled in some of the weak spots of last year’s roster.
The start to the Cavaliers season is likely to be rough. Irving will be out for several months with his knee injury he incurred during the Finals, and Shumpert remains out with an arm injury. Meanwhile, James is dealing with back pain that will keep him sidelined more often than otherwise during games, and several other injuries still plague the team.
This 2015-2016 season of basketball looks to be another strong year for Ohio’s only professional basketball team. The Cavaliers are “All In,” “All for One” and still have unfinished business to take care of. Definitely a team to look out for throughout the next 82 games and into the postseason. It will not be a surprise if James is seen playing in his sixth straight Finals.