Will the Cavs Make the 2018 NBA Finals?

 

The Cavaliers title odds took a serious hit on August 23rd after the team traded four-time All-Star Kyrie Irving to the Celtics. Mybookie immediately dropped Cleveland from +400 to +525 while also bumping Boston up from +900 to +750. While various sportbooks may have different options on the Cavs, by breaking down the remaining teams’ reversal of fortunes.

Most sportsbooks are focused on the Finals, but we’re not so sure the Cavs will even make it out of the East. Here are four reasons why LeBron James will be hitting tee shots rather than jump shots in June.

Isaiah Thomas May Not Play a Single Minute

We love Isaiah Thomas’ heart, but his hip scares the hell out of us. It was bad enough when we thought he was only coping with a femoral-acetabular impingement with labral tear (try saying that five times fast), but new reports have revealed that Thomas also has arthritis and a loss of cartilage. Simply put, no one knows when he’ll be back.

The Rest of the Trade Chips Are Underwhelming

Admit it, you wouldn’t be able to pick Ante Zizic out of a police line-up if your life depended on it. The 7’0′ Croatian hasn’t played a single game in the NBA and is more project than prospect. Jae Crowder is a valuable 3-and-D guy, but the last time we checked the Cavs already had a pretty decent small forward named LeBron James. It’s unclear if there will be enough playing time in Cleveland’s crowded frontcourt to fully unleash a player of Crowder’s caliber. And lest we forget the draft picks. The first and second-round selections are nice, but they’ll arrive in 2018 when LeBron has fled Cleveland for L.A.

The Roster Is Aging

The average age on the Cavaliers is 29.4 years. That’s notable for two reasons. First and foremost, most NBA players begin to decline at 28. Second, it makes Cleveland the oldest team in the league. While every other franchise is trying to get younger, the Cavs are inching closer and closer to qualifying for senior’s discounts.

The Competition Has Improved

The biggest mistake the Cavs made this offseason was trading their second-best player to their chief rival. Irving will face his former team three times during the regular season and you’d better believe he’ll be motivated to play his best ball.

Given all of the above considerations, the Cavs only have about a 50/50 chance to get out of the Eastern Conference, in our view.

Jordan and Michael Tozzi were 2013's Most Accurate Fantasy Football Experts in the nation. Owners of LegionReport.com

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