Quantcast 2009 Cleveland Cavaliers: Cavs off-season acquisitions

 

Have The Cavs Improved?  

 

We are now about to enter August, which means it's getting closer to the start of the 2009 NBA Season.  In between the last game of the season, and the start of the new season, is the off-season.  That's the time where teams try their best to fine tune themselves, and put them closer to being a competitive franchise.  The evaluation of talent, team chemistry, team salary, and of course, the battle of age vs. youth, come into play.  A lot of things surround the NBA Draft, which is where a lot of teams make trades, to acquire talent from other teams, or fine tune their team thru the draft.  Regardless of the methods used, the goal is to improve your team from the previous season.  With the goal of the off-season being to improve, the question remains...Have the Cavs Improved?

 

The biggest change to the Cavs' roster will be quite noticeable.  By now we're all aware that Shaquille O’Neal is now a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and will be the man in the middle.  Is the addition of Shaq what the Cavs needed to get a ring?  In my opinion no it isn't.  Shaq is a little more athletic than any of the other big men on the Cavs' roster, but isn't the athlete than can run with the Cavs.  LeBron James can play in a half court set, but is much more lethal when he's able to get up and down the court.  There were often times where Cleveland looked to play, 1-on-5, type of basketball during the playoffs, often leaving James to do everything.  Shaq will help the Cavs in a few areas, but at 37, I'm just not sure he's the answer to the shortcomings of the Cavs.  O’Neal’s a natural leader, and a huge personality, both on and off the court.  However, with Boston adding Rasheed Wallace, and Orlando adding Vince Carter, and Brandon Bass, I'm not so sure Cleveland's a lock to reach the Finals.  A third team could also emerge into the picture, with the Miami Heat in heavy pursuit of both Lamar Odom, and Carlos Boozer.  Team's as stacked from 1 to 5, as Boston and Orlando; it's hard to imagine the Cavs competing with them.  

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Cleveland also added Jamario Moon, and Anthony Parker, who'll give them some depth along the wings.  But in comparison to the players added to the aforementioned teams, it's almost as if the Cavs did the least they could do.  The Cavs also re-signed Anderson Varejao, to a six year deal, just fewer than 10 million per season.  Why is Varejao worth a deal so lucrative?  In my opinion, he's a player that's reached his ceiling, as far as his development is concerned.  Varejao is just as immobile as the other big men on the team, and he's 10 years younger than Shaq!  This contract was a contract that the Cavs could have used on a much more quality big man, who could come in and be a force on both ends of the court.  Varejao's resigning was a puzzling piece to add, to an already peculiar picture.  Cleveland's front office is still seemingly confused, or they are very hopeful, that Shaq can answer their title aspirations.  However for some reason, I just don't see how they've kept up with the Celtics, who own a lineup where all five starters could put up 30pg.  So has Cleveland Improved, only time will tell.

 

By: Steve Rivers

Probasketball-fans.com Cleveland Cavaliers Correspondent


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