The Cleveland Cavaliers and owner Dan Gilbert are very fortunate. They currently employ the best basketball player in the world and one of the greatest players of all-time, along with two other star caliber players in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love and an assortment of veteran role players.
They have been to three straight NBA Finals and won the NBA title in 2016.
While the newest iteration of the Golden State Warriors with Kevin Durant may be the most imposing juggernaut the league has ever seen, Cleveland is still best positioned to be able to slay that dragon compared to the other 28 NBA franchises.
That grip is slipping though as the Cavs have had a bizarre and an ineffective off-season to this point.
A team that just over a month ago was heading into their 3rd straight NBA Finals with a 12-1 postseason record and status as defending champs, now has constant rumors that LeBron James will leave in free agency yet again. They missed out on the Paul George sweepstakes and reportedly were on the brink of dealing Kyrie Irving to the Phoenix Suns (if you buy that report).
Dan Gilbert has always been known as one of the cheapest and most difficult owners to work and play for and his frugality in not bringing back accomplished general manager David Griffin (who wasn’t even taken off of an interim role for far too long) and not being willing to pay the going rate for a general manger or president of basketball operations has set the Cavaliers quest back to an NBA title back dramatically as the Warriors, Celtics, Rockets, Thunder and many other teams are improving while the Cavaliers are stuck in neutral.
At this point, the Cavaliers need to do whatever they can to acquire two veterans to help them on both sides of the ball: Carmelo Anthony and Tony Allen.
Anthony, while not the caliber of player he was three years ago, has never relied too much on his athleticism and is still one of the most lethal scorers in the NBA. He could be a nightmarish stretch four in lineups for Cleveland and provide LeBron James and Kyrie Irving more rest throughout the season.
He will not be suiting up for the Knicks this season and it appears the Rockets have been the aggressor in trying to acquire him and pair him with Chris Paul and James Harden. If the Cavaliers want to inject some life into their title pursuit in 2017-18, acquiring a top 30 player like Carmelo Anthony and a close friend to LeBron James is a must.
While Anthony makes the Cavaliers even more talented and deadly on offense, Tony Allen can give them another defender and toughness to increase the physicality against a team like the Warriors or Celtics.
While Allen is 35 and will turn 36 during the season, he is still a great defender and could be a huge asset for the Cavaliers at times during the season, not to mention his added toughness and obsession with dominating his opponent and making them work for everything.
If the Cavaliers want to truly compete for another NBA title next season and make it near impossible for LeBron to leave, they need to join the off-season fray before it is too late.