Does Deron Williams Make The Cavaliers The Team To Beat In The NBA Playoffs?
All throughout the 2016-17 NBA season, LeBron James has been telling anyone that would listen that he wanted the Cleveland Cavaliers to sign or trade for a reliable backup point guard. It didn’t matter if it was a guy who was currently sitting at home on the couch, a guy who was going to put the Cavaliers significantly over the salary cap, or a guy who was well past his prime and unable to play for more than 12 or 15 minutes every night. He just wanted the Cavaliers to sign someone to back up Kyrie Irving. The only options Cleveland had were young guys with little experience, and LeBron knew that wasn’t going to cut it in the NBA Playoffs.
Earlier this week, LeBron got his wish when the Cavaliers inked Deron Williams to a deal. Williams had, prior to signing with the Cavaliers, been a member of the Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 13.1 points, 6.9 assists, and 2.6 rebounds for the Mavericks this season, and while he very well could have played out the remainder of his NBA career in Dallas, the Mavericks were going nowhere fast. So owner Mark Cuban decided to part ways with Williams so that he could chase a ring with a playoff contender, and that’s exactly what Williams plans to do now. The Cavaliers give him a great chance to capture the ring that he has been chasing after for more than a decade.
Do the Cavaliers now have the best chance out of any team in the NBA to get it? Well, there’s always going to be an argument for the Golden State Warriors since they have Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant on their roster. But it’s hard not to see what Cleveland has been able to put together in such a short time. Outside of adding Williams, it looks like they have also found a suddenly reliable role player in Derrick Williams and a sharpshooter in Kyle Korver. And they might even add former Warriors center Andrew Bogut to the mix soon. If they do that, the Warriors will not have an easy time handling the weapons that Cleveland has added to the mix. A team featuring just Williams, Williams, Korver, and Bogut might be able to make the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference. So can you imagine what they’ll do coming off the bench for a team that already features LeBron, Irving, Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson?
At the end of the day, the NBA Playoffs are probably going to end with a matchup between the Cavaliers and Warriors. And the Warriors are likely still going to be the favorites heading into the matchup. But it’s not hard to make an argument on behalf of the Cavaliers after all the wheeling and dealing they’ve done in recent weeks. A great team just got even greater—and the NBA Finals are now going to be even better than we all expected as a result of it.