The Cleveland Cavaliers have gone from one of the worst teams in the league to potentially being a top-six team in the Eastern Conference Playoff picture. Many thought this team could be on the rise after drafting combo forward Anthony Bennett with the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but now they are a clear cut playoff team with the addition of 2012 All Star Andrew Bynum.
It remains unclear of what the team plans on doing with veteran Anderson Varejao, who was enjoying the best season of his career last season before suffering a season ending injury, but regardless the Cavs will still have a solid rotation of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, rookie Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson, Bynum, Tyler Zeller and rookie Sergey Karasev. They are dealing with two All-Star players and plenty of talent around them.
Bynum comes off of a season in which he didn’t play a game for the Phildelphia 76ers. However, he was easily considered a top-two center in the league along with Dwight Howard during the previous 2011-2012 season, when current Cavs Coach Mike Brown was the head coach of the Lakers, so this seems like the perfect fit for Bynum.
The only teams that are clearly going to finish with a better record appear to be the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets. If the Cavs fill out their roster with solid rotation pieces, they could easily find themselves in an exciting first-round matchup with Indy, Brooklyn or Chicago. They could have competition for the five seed with the New York Knicks, Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors or even Atlanta Hawks, but they will have to really play disciplined basketball, as they don’t have the star power Bynum and Irving provide the Cavaliers.
The signing also keeps a manageable balance of power in the league, staying in the East means there is one more solid Eastern Conference team and one less bolstered Western Conference team, which has been a problem in the recently.
With signing Bynum, the Cavaliers finally have a whole team to look forward to for the first time since LeBron James took his talents to South Beach three years ago. This season will is already shaping up to be an intriguing one.