Since LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat, the state of Ohio has not been the same. James captivated the nation while with the Cavs, and the organization has had trouble staying out of the NBA cellar since his departure. Thanks to a few great draft picks, however, the Cavs are slowly building themselves back up and I think they are a playoff team in 2013.
Kyrie Irving looks to be the next superstar in Cleveland as he is under contract for the next two seasons, with a player option worth $9.6 million in 2015-16. James is definitely the better talent of the two, but Irving’s ability to make plays at the point guard position puts the franchise in prime position to compete for years to come.
All things considered, Irving is a cheap option, which means the team has more freedom to make big signings in the coming seasons.
The building around Irving began last Summer when the team drafted Dion Waiters with the fourth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Waiters was stellar while with the Syracuse Orange and although he started his NBA career on rocky terrain, he has done a wonderful job and is averaging 14.7 points per game so far this season. I expect Waiters to come on strong in his sophomore season as he has turned it on of late with a career-high 15.8 points per game in the month of February.
One of the best parts about this Cleveland team is that they continue to draft well and only have $32 million committed to the 2013-14 season. The only thing that is going to hold this organization back is injuries as Irving, Waiters and Anderson Varejao have all missed substantial time due to injury.
Either way, this team is going to a force to be reckoned with if they can keep their stars healthy.