This past Monday, the Golden State Warriors finished off the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning their second NBA Finals in three years. The Warriors beat the Cavs four games to one, securing their fifth ever NBA Championship. This team proved to be one of the most dominant figures ever in NBA history, going 16-1 throughout the length of the postseason. This title gave the Warriors key offseason addition Kevin Durant his first ever title. This also put LeBron “King” James to a record of 3-5 in championships. So what’s next for both the Cavs and the Warriors to make it back to the NBA Finals?
For the 2017 upcoming free agency period in the NBA, both Steph Curry and Kevin Durant will become free agents. Even though people keep mentioning this as a big issue, the Warriors knew that signing Durant this past offseason would create an issue a year later. Both players definitely deserve max contracts right? But how is it possible for both players to get max contracts as well as keeping key role players such as Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and JaVale McGee.
Well the answer is simple that one of these star players (either Durant or Curry) will need to take a pay cut. Durant has come out and said he is willing to take a pay cut to keep this team in tact, which is believable, but do these other role players want to keep getting paid the same amount as they have the past couple years? Take Shaun Livingston, a player who has helped the Warriors in past year make it to the finals, and take a key role as Steph’s backup. Does Livingston want to continue to make $5.78 million a year, or perhaps go to a team that could make more of a use for him, as well as pay him more. Some important decisions are coming about in this upcoming off season for the Warriors, and only time will tell what their roster looks like next season.Shaun Livingston has a big decision to make this upcoming offseason
So LeBron James, the King, one of the most dominant players in basketball history, almost gets swept by the Warriors. Five years after facing off against Durant in the finals, he unites forces with Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson, and brings the trophy back to the Bay Area.
You may be asking how this happens to a player who many consider to be the greatest basketball player of all time, and to be honest, it is a very good question. But to be honest, the main answer to this is that none of LeBron’s teammates showed up. Yes the Cavs have Kyrie, Kevin Love, Thompson, and JR Smith.
That looks great on paper, but when it comes down to stats, none of those players showed up in the series. In the first four games of the finals, the Warriors were at -6 when James was on the floor, when he stepped off for the 26 minutes in total he was off the court, they were +31. Even though LeBron has help on paper, he needs another playmaker who can fill his position when he steps off the court, who can also spread the floor. Kevin Love isn’t getting the job done, specifically as it is impossible for him to guard Kevin Durant when they both play Power Forward.
What the Cavs need is a dominant Power Forward who can stretch the floor, who at the same time is athletic to get up and down the court fast while playing a little defense. You may ask who can fit this role for the Cavs? The answer is easy, LeBron and Kyrie, you need to be recruiters for the Cavs, and get Paul George to come to Cleveland. People may say this is impossible, it will never happen! Well, I am not too sure of that. Paul George is going to become a free agent in the summer of 2018. He is almost definitely leaving Indiana, and perhaps joining a team such as the Lakers to get back to his hometown.
David Griffin, the General Manager for the Cavs, needs to go to the Pacers and say, look, we want Paul George. He is leaving you in the upcoming off season. We can make a trade, and you can get something out of him, or you can get nothing in return. LeBron and Kyrie need to tell Paul George, you have a chance to make some history in the league, you come with us, and we can compete with this Warriors team. They need to make PG feel wanted, and tell him you have a chance to win a NBA title with us. A lot will happen in this off season for this Cavaliers team, and we are all interested to see what their roster will look like come October.
The Warriors and Cavaliers both have important decisions to make in this upcoming off season. Only time will tell what each roster will look like come the start of the next NBA season. Will the big four stick together in Golden State, will the Cavs add another star to compete with the Warriors? Let’s find out.