In the past couple of seasons, the Cleveland Cavaliers have gone through a lengthy list of players. Faces seem to come and go at an extremely rapid pace through the Cavs’ locker room. The wine and gold jerseys were once worn by Mo Williams, Danny Green, Ryan Hollins, and Drew Gooden. Where are all these players now? Competing for an NBA championship on playoff teams.
The Cavs cannot continue to let valuable players walk away from the organization. So, who should the front office make sure is still around for years to come?
1. Tristan Thompson
Thompson is a young, durable forward with a ton of upside. In the past two seasons, he has played and started in all 82 games. Thompson averaged close to a double-double this past year with 11.7 points and 9.2 rebounds. This fourth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft has only one year left on his rookie contract. The Cavs have the option to extend his contract this summer, but have to be willing to put out the cash. It is key for the Cavs to not lose the trust of one of their most valuable players by not being generous with their money.
2. Dion Waiters
Waiters, alongside of point guard Kyrie Irving, has proven to be a scary duo in the Cavs backcourt for defenses. Waiters every season has continued to improve his maturity on and off the court. The Cavs do not have to worry about Waiters walking away because he still has a couple years left on his rookie contract. As a fan there is reason to worry about him being traded away. There was speculation this season that Waiters did not get along with his teammates and would be traded away to stop fighting in the locker room. Everyone in the organization quickly shot down these rumors. The Cavs backcourt is a couple seasons away from being one of the best in the NBA, as long as these rumors continue to just be rumors.
3. Spencer Hawes
A couple months ago, the Cavs acquired Hawes at the trade deadline. Hawes, standing at over seven feet tall, gave the Cavs a consistent, experienced center late in the season. Hawes is able to control the frontcourt and spread the floor with his three ball. Seems like a successful trade, right? Except for one major problem. Hawes is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and convincing players to stay has proven to be a difficult task for the organization. It is critical for the Cavs to keep Hawes in Cleveland.
4. Kyrie Irving
It is impossible to round up this list without mentioning the face of the franchise. Irving’s importance to this team goes without saying. This summer the Cavs are prepared to offer Irving a max contract extension. If he signs, all will be perfect in Cleveland. If he fails to sign the extension, the Cavs will once again be heading towards a doomful free agency in the years to come. According to Irving’s social media posts, it looks like Cleveland will be able to enjoy a happy summer.