Unless a major upheaval happens, next is expected to see a repeat of the NBA Finals 2017. The usual suspects - the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers - will tussle for the fourth time with missions of their own. The Warriors will gun for third win on their epic Finals series with Cavs, and the latter will attempt to equalize.
It seems a foregone conclusion - Golden State and Cleveland duking it out anew for the Larry O'Brien Trophy. But in reality, the road to the NBA Finals 2017 for the two teams will not be easy. Adjustments have to be made and sacrifices as well for the two squads to at least repeat what were seen in the last three years.
For the Cavaliers, the main goal for next season is to ensure they become a better team to earn a ticket to the playoffs, dispose of their opponents from round one to four and face the one team that will stand on their way for another NBA title. Presumably, that would be the GSW and in such a case the question to be asked is: How the Cavs will get on equal footing with the Warriors.
The need of the hour for the Cavs is retooling, according to Sports Illustrated. Head coach Tyronn Lue will need to reimagine the same team that bowed before the GSW juggernaut. Among the pressing things to address in order to boost Cleveland's chances of prevailing over the Warriors in case of another showdown next season is the acquisition of wing and point guard, the same SI report said.
At the same time, the Cavs will need to acknowledge the fact that LeBron James is not getting any younger and the team will have to prepare a roadmap for rebuilding. On this respect, the team management will need to become aggressive on their recruitment plans to attract talented veterans and young recruits to make for the new team core.
But for the short term, the best bet for the Cavs to become a better team against the Warriors is to consider the trade options. On this, "Kevin Love makes the most sense as a trade chip," SI said.
Dangling Love to lure in talents to build up a stronger Cavaliers squad, Cleveland could potentially gain access on the likes of DeMarcus Cousins, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. But how exactly these breed of talents would be convinced to wear the Cavs uniform will be up to the team front office.
As for the Golden State, it's quite obvious that for the team to preserve their winning tradition management will need to be willing to pay the price. After all, keeping together a core that headlined by Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will not come cheap.
If the GSW plan is to keep the four together for another four years, which could mean that the Warriors will enjoy the guarantee of at least Finals appearance in the same number of years, then team management will need to write the check.
According to Yahoo! Sports, "the projected price to keep the burgeoning (Warriors) dynasty together (is) $1.4 billion over next four years."