As you’ve probably heard, Kyrie Irving asked the GM-less Cleveland Cavaliers for a trade. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the news “blindsided” LeBron, and he was “devastated.” Kyrie’s request could not have come at a worse time for Cleveland. Rumors are being spread that LeBron will leave again in free agency, the team has a no-name GM, and many of the team’s players have little to no trade value. It seems that the Cavaliers, once so dominant and untouchable, are about to fall. The King’s reign in the East is going to end soon.
This is where the Bucks come in. Milwaukee has most of the talent it needs to compete in the playoffs. More experience and support is all it will take for the Bucks to become a force in the Eastern Conference, and we could see that come soon. At that point, all the Bucks need is for the Eastern Conference to weaken to put less pressure on themselves. A possible Kyrie trade and a near-certain LeBron departure is just what the doctor ordered. With those two gone, the Cavalier’s best player would likely be Kevin Love. Obviously this assumes that the Cavaliers do not make any blockbuster trades or sign a superstar. This is likely, however, because the Cavaliers are not set up well for the future. Once LeBron and Kyrie leave there will be more salary cap flexibility, but most teams in the NBA will not trade for the role players Cleveland has.
The Cavaliers are the last domino to fall in the Central Division. Chicago is beginning a rebuild and just traded Jimmy Butler, Indiana traded Paul George away, and Detroit is just not good. Cleveland is nearing the beginning of the end of their dominance, and while winning the division doesn’t mean much in the NBA, it does help that the teams you see 4 times a year are trending downward. The Bucks could see a few more wins from their division which will help them climb towards the top of the Eastern Conference. The rebuild seems to be over, and with the off-season we’ve seen, the time is coming for the Bucks to make moves to be contenders.