Cleveland Cavaliers' Roster Is Questionable Even With Kevin Love

By Allen Yates
LeBron James
USA Today Sports

It finally seems like we are getting clarity on the last big name during this offseason. Kevin Love told the Minnesota Timberwolves he wanted to win ages ago, and they have done nothing to appease their superstar. Love has also told them that he will not sign back with the team when his contract is up. LeBron James, the Cleveland native, has said he would love to have Love in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform.

The rumors were running wild, from the Golden State Warriors to the Chicago Bulls and all teams in between. The Love sweepstakes seemed to be nothing but rumors for a while simply because teams couldn’t offer the best possible talents for the best power forward in the game.

The Cavs offered what they deemed the best possible package, complete with two No. 1 overall picks. Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett headline a deal that will send Love to the Cavs along with a protected first-round pick for next year. The deal can’t be finalized until the 23rd, when Wiggins can actually be traded. However, it is set in stone that Love, James and Kyrie Irving will all be on the same roster next season.

While the Timberwolves got a lot of potential talent, the Cavs have nothing but big names on the roster now. The younger, hungrier and more athletic Big 3 in Cleveland will be a force for the rest of the Eastern Conference. However, the question is: is that simply enough to pencil them in as favorites to make it to the championship?

Taking a deeper look at the roster may raise some well-deserved eyebrows. This version of the Big 3 is very different from the one we saw in South Beach. Love rarely posts up as a traditional big, Irving has never played off  the ball and James is currently dropping pounds to guard small forwards everywhere.

While the big names seem tantalizing, the rest of the roster is a bit of a question mark. They are simply wet behind the ears when it comes to playoff experience, and playing in big games. Dion Waiters will be called upon to take his game to another level, while Anderson Varejao will be asked to hustle around per usual. The only players on the current Cavs roster who have championship or even playoff experience, all gained it while plain with the Miami Heat.

Aside from James, Mike Miller and James Jones are the only players with that kind of experience. While they will provide the much-needed shooting that makes a James-led team so dangerous, they will need to play great team defense. For all the praise the team will get for its offensive fire power, the defense will make or break this new Cavs team.

Love and Irving are not known for their defense, and frankly neither is Waiters. The LeBron effect should change that, as he will urge them to play some kind of defense. However, the main thing that will be talked about throughout the season is the chemistry of the team.

We have seen “super teams” assembled before, and on paper they were no-brainer champions. If there is no chemistry on this team, they will not make the Finals next season. While the Cavs have became immensely better, the Eastern Conference has leveled out a bit. The return of Derrick Rose and the emergence of the Washington Wizards will be great tests for the new Big 3 in Cleveland.

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