The Cleveland Cavaliers roster heading into the new season is full to the brim with star talent, and had this team been assembled 5 years ago, would truly be the best in the NBA. The reality is this roster is aging quickly, and may only have a few competitive years left in them. But to really determine how big the title window is for the Cavaliers, we must break down each one of their superstar players and see just how much longer they can produce at a high level.
Accomplishments: 3x NBA Champion, 3x NBA Finals MVP, 4x NBA MVP, 13x All-Star, 2x All-Star MVP, 11x All NBA First Team, 2x All NBA Second Team, 5x All Defensive First Team, 1x All Defensive Second Team, Rookie of the Year, 1x Scoring Champion.
What more can be said about this man. The de facto leader of this team who only appears to be getting better with age, his production on both ends of the floor has been consistent in his entire career and definitely don’t expect him to slow down soon. Most players slow down at LeBron’s age, but this is LeBron, and he still has a minimum of 4 or 5 years of high quality basketball left.
Accomplishments: 3x NBA Champion, 1x NBA Finals MVP, 12x NBA All-Star, 1x NBA All-Star MVP, 2x All-NBA First Team, 3x All NBA Second Team, 3x All NBA Third Team, 3x All Defensive Second Team, All Rookie First Team, 1x Scoring Champion.
Wade enters Cleveland with a stellar career filled with everything from NBA Championships to All-Star game MVPs, but also off the back of some lackluster years in Miami and Chicago. D-Wade has shown many signs that his once elite level of play is behind him, but he is working on many parts of his game to extend his career by as long as possible. Developing a consistent three point shot should be Wade’s number one priority as this will benefit his team the most. Reuniting with longtime friend and teammate LeBron James will further drive him to want to repeat their success from their Miami days. Expect to see connections like the ones below for a few more years yet.
Accomplishments: 1x NBA MVP, 3x NBA All-Star, 1x All NBA First Team, Rookie of the Year.
Derrick Rose is only 28 years of age, so to call him an aging superstar is unfair, although it feels that way. Rose’s body, in particular his knees, have constantly let him down since his MVP season in 2011. He was once touted as one of the most athletically gifted point guards the NBA had ever seen, characterized by his strong drives to the rim and his athletic finishes. But those days are well behind him thanks to the injuries. The big question for the Chicago native is how well will his body hold up this campaign. The Cavs will hope that Rose can act as their main distributor on offense and that he can become a threat from three point range as he will start at the point guard spot for at least the first few months of the season until Isaiah Thomas overcomes his troublesome hip.
Accomplishments: 2x NBA All-Star, 1x All-NBA Second Team, 1x All Rookie Second Team.
Isaiah Thomas is now the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers. After being the key piece in the Kyrie Irving trade with Boston, Thomas will be the building block for the Cavs once their big superstars in James and Wade are past their prime. The 28-year-old is coming off an outstanding few seasons with the Celtics and Cleveland will be hoping he can produce at that same elite level for many seasons to come.
Accomplishments: 1x NBA Champion, 4x NBA All-Star, 2x All-NBA Second Team, 1x NBA MIP, NBA All Rookie Second Team.
Kevin Love and Isaiah Thomas are well and truly the future of the Cavaliers. They are both still in their twenties and have shown no signs of slowing down. Love is still a double-double machine and a very accurate perimeter shooter. With recent news out of Cleveland saying that Love will be the teams first choice center, expect the 29-year-old’s rebounding numbers to continue to climb and be able to stretch the floor more as a sharpshooting big man, which will bode well for a roster full of aging sharp shooters.
Accomplishments: 1x NBA All-Star, 4x NBA Leader in 3 point percentage.
Kyle Korver is the definition of a laser three point shooter. Any time you can lead the NBA in percentage from beyond the arc with the volume of shots he takes your doing something right. This is one player who is well in his thirties but will still be an important player for another few years yet. He has a play style that ages well in an NBA environment. A catch and shoot specialist capable of catching fire quickly and can take a game away from a team in an instant.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have all the pieces of a championship quality team, and although a majority of their superstar talent is aging, they have more than enough building blocks once those star players can no longer compete. But while they can compete, expect a dangerous Cavs outfit for at least the next three seasons.
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