“We gave up way too much.”
“Why didn’t we wait until the 2015 offseason to sign Kevin Love?”
“We’re not winning the right way.”
I heard these comments, multiple times, word-for-word on Cleveland sports radio this morning. Somehow, despite the Cleveland Cavaliers having a historically successful offseason, despite the team going from bottom-feeders to contenders seemingly overnight, there are some fans who are still upset about the team trading for Love over the weekend.
It goes without saying this is all pretty stupefying. You mean to tell me there are people out there who, despite rooting for a team which now starts three All-Stars, one of them being the best player in the entire NBA, are still unhappy?
I guess you can’t please everyone. However, allow me to break down the opening comments so we can see that, in fact, every Cleveland fan should be on board with the Cavs trading for Love.
The idea of the team giving up too much is essentially rooted in the inclusion of rookie Andrew Wiggins in the trade, which is the most understandable of all the claims. Wiggins has a lot of potential, and the idea of pairing him with a similarly freakish athlete in LeBron James was clearly something many wanted to see. The idea of Wiggins taking over as the main man in Cleveland when James eventually retires was also understandably appealing.
The issue, though, is Wiggins is still very raw. Some say he might not reach his full potential until after a few seasons in the league. And while it’s incredibly exciting having James back in Cleveland, he didn’t return to mentor Wiggins and wait for the Cavs to become a true title contender. His goal is to win a championship in his hometown as soon as possible, and Wiggins doesn’t make Cleveland a championship team right now. Love does, though.
As far as saying the team should’ve just waited to sign Love in 2015 when he became a free agent, this obviously is easier said than done.
This summer, the Cavs were fighting off one or two other teams in terms of vying for Love’s services. Next year? There’s no way the list of potential suitors would be this small. Numerous clubs would be clearing up cap space and preparing pitches to try and woo Love into joining their roster. And even though Cleveland having James could be seen as the ultimate trump card, who’s to say the Cavs would be the only team with a tempting offer? Love apparently had a desire to play in California again, what if the Los Angeles Lakers or Los Angeles Clippers went after him next summer?
Bottom line: the best time the Cavs could assure themselves the greatest chance to get Love was right now.
Finally, the idea of poo-pooing this deal because Cleveland isn’t “winning the right way,” well, this one deserves quite a face-palm.
The city of Cleveland hasn’t seen a championship in 50 years. More often than not, the town’s teams are miserable across the board. The Cavs themselves were borderline unwatchable for the past four years. They finally build themselves a roster which can contend with anyone in the NBA, but since they assembled the team in a Miami Heat-esque way, it’s worthy of complaints? Seriously?
Since when are Cleveland fans in any position to have issues with how a championship-caliber team is put together? Why would the idea of possibly winning it all now be less desirable than trying to winning it all in a few years?
You can’t complain about losing and be upset about getting a title contending team at the same time. It’s one or the other. Simple logic assumes the majority of the Cleveland faithful would choose the latter, but there still appears to be a good chunk of fans who want to poke holes in arguably the best roster in Cavs history.
At the end of the day, these and any other arguments against trading for Love are shallow at best. The Cavs are seen league-wide as a team who could win it all this year. The doubters can complain all they want now, but if the Cavs win a title, said cynics better not be at the parade frowning with their arms folded.
A team from Cleveland is striking fear in a professional sports league. Stop complaining, embrace it.