Last season’s 30-11 finish didn’t include Justise Winslow or Bam Adebayo, so the only crucial piece moved from that magical finish, in a hypothetical Kyrie Irving trade, is Goran Dragic. Other players would need to be included in the deal to balance the numbers for a blockbuster trade to be consummated
Since Dan Gilbert holds Kyrie’s contract he has the final say in who comes and who goes. In this scenario Winslow stands out as the x-factor, since he might thrive in Cleveland under LeBron James’ demanding guidance. True Justise’s bricky shots hold him back, but he can turn into more of a team player for the Cavaliers than Irving ever was, or ever will be.
Along with Adebayo, Winslow helps cover up Kevin Love’s defensive deficiencies. Both Love and Irving are known liabilities defensively and hurt Cleveland on that end of the floor, especially against the NBA’s shooting powerhouses such as the Golden State Warriors. Miami could offer Gilbert players who help shore up the Cavaliers leaky defense, and are on rookie pay scales as a bonus.
On Miami’s side of things they get a flawed All-Star who enjoys the Miami lifestyle and can score buckets at will. The biggest challenge lies in Erik Spoelstra dealing with the clashing egos of those two as backcourt partners. Although it sounds as if Kyrie likes to work in a structured environment, which Cleveland lacks. He chaffed at LeBron not following the team rules everyone else went along with. Although Miami has an unspoken policy of players not resting their hands on their knees while on the court.
A backcourt of Dion Waiters and Irving results in one of the premier duos in the NBA. Adding Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington, Josh Richardson and Rodney McGruder to the guard rotation gives Miami a deep bench in those positions. In addition, all are in their primes at under 30 years of age, and ready to contribute immediately.
The frontcourt stays intact from last season’s 30-11 run, aside from Luke Babbitt and Willie Reed. Hassan Whiteside, James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk provide both offense and defense up front. Okaro White and the unknown A.J. Hammons would be the power bigs off the bench. Spo could also turn to his three guard rotation when T. Johnson, Richardson and McGruder step in as two-way players for a small-ball lineup.
From the Cavaliers side, LeBron James goes out of his way to praise the Cavs new point guard Derrick Rose.
Let's Rock G!!— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 24, 2017
Let’s Rock G!!
Not to mention James gives a shout out to John Wall‘s pay raise. Hint, Irving gets paid less than Wall, who has never earned a ring.