The reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers held their media day this week and the best news to come out of it was LeBron James still plans on ending his career wearing the Wine and Gold.
However, just as we were going to print LeBron’s close friend Dwayne Wade was nearing a deal to join the Cavs after his buyout from the Chicago Bulls and that would certainly make the Cavs prohibitive favorites to repeat as conference champions.
LeBron alone would make any team championship caliber, but you add to the mix former MVP Derrick Rose, Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder from the Kid Kyrie trade, holdovers Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, Kyle Korver and off season acquisitions Jose Calderon, Jeff Green and the raw but talented Ante Zizic then coach Ty Lue’s only problem will be finding playing time.
There is no question the Cavs are still better than the Celtics with Kid Kyrie and Gordon Hayward and are on par with Houston and OKC which added Carmelo Anthony to Paul George and Russell Westbrook in the Western Conference.
Few will argue that defending champion Golden State is still the chalk to win it all, but getting out of the quagmire in the West will be a much more difficult that it was a year ago.
Wade, a three-time NBA champion, averaged 18 points per game on a ravaged Bulls team will get any shot he wants with the floor spacing the Cavs will have this season.