Cavs Outshine Mavs This Off-Season
I understand that Cleveland hasn’t won a championship since Moses was a rookie shortstop, but, as we all know in the world of sports, it’s “what have you done for me lately.” In that context, the Cleveland Cavaliers have trumped everything the Mavericks have ever done in the wheeling and dealing world. Drafting Kyrie Irving 3 years ago, then Andrew Wiggins a month ago, and somehow convincing LeBron James to return to their city, set the Cavs up to make the trade for Kevin Love.
LeBron, Love and Irving will be every bit as formidable as LeBron, Wade and Bosh have been in Miami the past four seasons. Sure, they haven’t won anything yet, and they still haven’t completed the Love/Wiggins trade but all sides say it’s just a matter of waiting until the league imposed deadline passes for the Cavs to sign and trade a draft pick. When that happens and the trade goes through, the Cavs will have pulled off a magical feat. LeBron is the best player in the league, Irving is one of the top 3 or 4 point guards in the league and Love is an all-star monster coming off his best season ever in Minnesota; 26 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists per game. For Clevelanders, this is the first winter they’ve looked forward to in five decades.
Meanwhile the Mavs did what they do, they thumped their chests that they’ve made some “real improvement” in the line-up, and they have with the law firm of Chandler and Chandler, but all it did in the diabolical Western Conference is move them from an #8 seed up to a #6 or #7 seed. Cleveland meanwhile went from an after-thought to the top contender in the East. It’s the difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. Mark Cuban shouted from day one of his ownership that things would be different in Dallas. Players would kill their young to play for the Mavericks and championship champagne would flow year after year. The Mavs got their one championship in 2011, then proceeded to break up the team and fall into the world of a first or second round exit playoff team. The 2011 title gave Cuban, Nelson, Carlisle and Nowitzki a few years breathing room but that’s worn off now.
Fans want to see moves like the Cavs have made. Sure, people will say that LeBron is only going back to the Cavs because it’s home. Well, Dallas is home for Chris Bosh and Deron Williams and LaMarcus Aldridge and none of them have returned home to play for the Mavericks. So either Cleveland is a much better place to live than Dallas or the Cavs are doing a much better job of attracting free agents than the Mavs. Having just been to Cleveland in the past month I have to go with the latter. The Cavaliers will now have three legitimate star players at three different positions. The Mavericks have relied on one superstar and other “very good” and “good” players for the last 15 years. They’ve never had three superstars at one time on Cuban’s watch. Maybe instead of bragging about how great playing for the Mavs is, Cuban and his front office should spend some time in “The Mistake on the Lake” to find out how bringing in great players is really done.