The King has shook up the landscape of the NBA once again. Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve probably heard LeBron James announced that he was returning home back to the Cleveland Cavaliers! So what does this mean for his legacy? The NBA? The Heat? Roderick and Nick are back to debate these intriguing questions!
1. What are the expectations for the Cavaliers this season?
Roderick: The expectations for the Cavs skyrocket after the acquistion of LeBron James. Just look at what happened to Cleveland after LeBron left. They haven’t had a winning season or come close to the playoffs without him. Adding him with young talent (namely a Kyrie Irving) and seemingly veteran Kevin Love they look to be the newest and probably better big 3. The Cavs have had so many resources to acquire new talent that the sky was literally the limit for the Cavs. And look what they have done. With the East the way it is I expect them to win it easily. Now the NBA title? That’s another story for a later date.
Nick: I think the Cavaliers were one player away from championship expectations and now sources say that Kevin Love will be officially traded to Cleveland sometime around August 23 so now they are contenders. The acquisition will definitely push the Cavs organization over the top. Kevin Love, King James, and Uncle Drew on the same team? I don’t believe the Spurs can beat them in a 7 game series.
2. What will become of the Miami Heat organization?
Nick: The Miami Heat will still be a playoff team. Chris Bosh will be the focal point of the Heat organization. The effectiveness of Dwayne Wade this upcoming season is the million dollar question. Wade struggled throughout the NBA Finals. Without Lebron James in a Heat uniform how effective will Wade be ? He missed a lot of regular season games last year due to nagging injuries and fatigue. He will have to increase the workload the season. Free agent picks Luol Deng and Danny Granger will provide some much needed help on the perimeter for the Heat.
Roderick: The Miami Heat aren’t losers in this in my opinion. They benefited from the coup of the century just 4 years ago, netting the best player in the world. And since then they have been in the championship circle and haven’t looked back. 4 Finals and 2 Championships isn’t too shabby. And another big winner is Dwyane Wade. He now has 3 rings. What amazes me is that the Heat didn’t have to be completely gutted and overhauled. They replaced LeBron with some who is very serviceable (Luol Deng) but I have a feeling we are about to see the true value of LeBron James. They will make the playoffs by default in the weak East but I don’t know about they’re future. Everyone, especially Wade and Bosh, are about to realize just how much they were carried the last 4 years by the King.
3. How does LeBron’s move affect the NBA as a whole?
Roderick: To quote the great philosopher Kanye West, “No one man should have all this power!” LeBron has been flexing all summer. He’s easily the most powerful man in the NBA, anything he does creates a big ripple effect. Players were being put on hold just to see what he was going to do. He was the difference between other players making hundreds of millions of dollars or just a few million. But I think the most important effect on the NBA is that LeBron going home spreads the East back out again. One of the reasons the East is/was in shambles is because of the ripple effects of him going to South Beach. Big stars joining together depleted Eastern conference teams which was already low on stars as a conference. This alleviates the pressure of the other teams in the east to build teams quickly. Now the East can finally be on the upswing and get better as a conference. And that’s better for the whole NBA.
Nick: LeBron’s move back home has changed the landscape of the NBA for years to come. LeBron held the league captive the entire free agency. The media was in a frenzy. Everyone waited until The King made his decision first, before they decided what they wanted to do. LeBron James runs the NBA. His departure from the Heat has made the one sided Eastern Conference a wide open league for the 2014-2015 season. We have yet to see if his decision will also affect Kevin Durant’s upcoming decision. He was so inspired by LeBron’s move back to Cleveland that sources are speculating he will move back to the D.C. area to join the Washington Wizards in 2016. I’m excited to see what KD does to the NBA next.