A decade ago, there was a time when teams were expected to be able to sign LeBron James to a multi-year deal that would keep him in Cleveland through the 2024-25 season.
Now, it’s been nearly a decade since a player like LeBron would have been in Cleveland, and teams are reportedly trying to sign another star like LeBron to a long-term deal to make the Cavs even better.
That might not sound like a big deal to the average fan, but the Cavs and their fans know what a long and expensive deal they’re in.
It also may not be good for the team, which was in danger of falling behind in the Eastern Conference standings last season before adding LeBron.
But even though the Cavs’ current situation is a mess, there are a few reasons for optimism, according to Grantland’s Chris Ballard.
First, the Cavs have enough talent on the roster to contend in the East.
With that said, they’ve got some very young talent at the wing spots, including J.R. Smith, J.J. Hickson, and Tristan Thompson, along with rookie guard Kyle Korver, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
If they can get better at all three positions, they could be in the mix for a title.
Second, they’re still young, with the team only entering its fourth season under new coach Tyronn Lue.
That’s good news, because it’s a team that has been consistently rebuilding throughout its history.
While the Cavs are far from perfect, they are starting to show some signs of progress, and they should be better than last season.
Third, the NBA is in a rebuilding phase.
The league’s salary cap has increased over the last few seasons, and many of the teams in the top half of the salary cap have been rebuilding for years.
The Cavaliers, though, will be in a similar situation as many teams in that they are in a rebuild.
But this time around, the Cavaliers will have a more experienced group of coaches and executives to help them succeed, which should help them get back to the level they were at in 2016-17.