LeBron James and the Cavaliers lost the 2014-15 NBA Finals to the Warriors, but let’s face it; there is shame to losing to a Golden State team that was led by the league’s regular-season MVP Stephen Curry and a very healthy squad playing against an injury-laden Cleveland squad. Plus, with the 2014-2015 NBA season in the books, there is fun in giving excuses or talking about what may have been. All eyes are next season and the NBA Oddsmakers are already have the Cavs listed ahead of the Golden State and OKC in the early 2015-16 NBA odds to upcoming NBA Championship. On that futuristic note, here is what we believe will happen for James and the Cavs in the not-so distant future.
Guard Iman Shumpert is another restricted free agent that could decide to leave Cleveland. Through his solid defensive skills and up-surging offensive performances, Shumpert was one of the reasons the Cavs had a strong run starting in the new year. Impressive as he was, his situation is 50-50, as Cleveland could decide to let him go and get an upgrade, or alternatively match the offer he receives elsewhere. Guard Matthew Dellavedova is also a restricted free agent, whose chances of returning to Cleveland are similar to those of Shumpert, as the Cavs will probably seek more experience and depth at the guard position. Then we have my man J.R. Smith, a guard with a player option at $6.399 million. Like Shumpert, Smith greatly contributed in Cleveland’s bounce-back from a 19-20 start to a 53-29 run that saw the team finish the regular season with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. At the NBA Finals, Smith was inconsistent in his shooting, but with the playoff experience and sharpshooting skills he has exhibited in his career, the Cavs are likely to keep him Cleveland as their main 3-point shooter. Center Timofey Mozgov, Cleveland’s mean rim protector, should also be returning to Cleveland, as the 4.9 million option on his deal is easily affordable for the deep-pocketed Cavs.
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