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Where do the Cleveland Cavaliers go from here?

Glenn Kaplan
ANALYST
Feature
378   //    11 Jun 2018, 09:47 IST

2018 NBA Finals - Game Four
2018 NBA Finals - Game Four

The Cleveland Cavaliers' season ended in bitter disappointment once again. They got swept in the NBA Finals by the Golden State Warriors. The Cavaliers were embarrassed in Game 4 by a score of 108-85. The Cavaliers are now just 1-4 in the NBA Finals in franchise history. Where do they go from here?

Also read: Reviewing LeBron James' Six NBA Finals Losses

LeBron James is a free agent and the odds are he is not going to stay in Cleveland. Since that is most likely the case, the Cavaliers should start a rebuild this summer and not wait.

Kevin Love is 29 years old and he is under contract for two more seasons. He is owed $24.1 million next season and $25.5 million the year after. He could be traded to a team such as the Philadelphia 76ers, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Utah Jazz, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Washington Wizards or the Boston Celtics. The Cleveland Cavaliers should ask for a first round pick and a player in return.

J.R. Smith is owed $14.7 million by the team next season. He is owed $3.87 million guaranteed the following year if he is not waived on or before June 29, 2019. The Cavaliers will most likely waive him before then if they are going to go in a different direction. If he isn't waived, he will become a free agent after the 2019-2020 season.

Smith could possibly be traded for some cap considerations or a draft pick. Teams would probably waive him after that anyway.

Tristan Thompson also has a big contract. He is owed $17.4 million next season and $18.5 million the season after that. The Cavaliers won't probably trade him, but I would trade him to the Clippers.

The Cavaliers own the eighth pick in the NBA Draft. They could take point guard Trae Young, small forward Michael Porter Jr., power forward Miles Bridges, point guard Colin Sexton or small forward Mikal Bridges with that selection. I would select any one of these players except for Young.

If the Cavaliers made a trade to the Clippers that involves Kevin Love, I am sure the they would ask for either the 12th or the 13th pick in return. The Clippers would probably give them the 12th pick because that's the pick they got in the Blake Griffin trade from the Detroit Pistons.

The Cavaliers could possibly have shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV, point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, small forward Kevin Knox or center Robert Williams III available at that spot,

Cleveland would be in good hands right away and this is a pretty deep draft. It would take them a couple of years to figure it out, but they need to take this approach. I would have London Perrantes and a couple of others from the Canton Charge (G-League) on the roster next season.

Head coach Tyronn Lue plans on coaching again next season for the Cavaliers despite his health issues.

The Cavaliers' starting five next season with these roster moves I suggested could be: C Robert Williams III (rookie), PF Larry Nance Jr., SF Michael Porter Jr. (rookie), SG Kyle Korver and PG George Hill. Off the bench: Cedi Osman, Jordan Clarkson, Ante Zizic, London Perrantes and other players they sign in free agency or trades.


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Glenn Kaplan
ANALYST
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