The reigning champions of the world, the Cleveland Cavaliers, spent the offseason basking in all the glory and honor that they brought Cleveland, but Golden State’s signing of Kevin Durant quickly silenced their hopes of repeating in 2017.
Determined to bring another championship to Cleveland, the Cavaliers recently signed power forward Derrick Williams, point guard Deron Williams and center Andrew Bogut and in turn, put the Cavs back on track for a second title in the eyes of analysts and fans alike. Here is what those three players bring to the squad:
1. Derrick Williams
Derrick Williams was the second pick of the 2011 draft behind his current teammate Kyrie Irving. Since the draft, Irving’s success has been unparalleled to Williams. While Irving has become one of the most dynamic point guards in the league over his six seasons, Williams has seen his career fall to the point of being cut by the Miami Heat halfway through the 2017 season. Cleveland picked him up and signed him for a ten-day contract. So far, he’s been a perfect fit. These past weeks have sparked the renaissance of Williams’ career. He is averaging 57.1 percent from the field, an outlandish 73.9 percent from two-point range, and a career high 36.8 percent behind the arc.
Williams is already proving himself as an asset in the Cavs organization due to his speed, athleticism and versatility. LeBron James has taken liking to Williams, and the alley-oop pass from James to Williams has already become an iconic power move. Williams brings an intensity and youth to a veteran Cavalier squad. He was just recently signed for the remainder of the season.
2. Deron Williams
LeBron James has begged the Cavaliers franchise to add a playmaker, well now he has one. Deron Williams ads an asset the Cavs have never had. He is a veteran player who LeBron can rely on when he or Irving is on the bench. Williams has limitless confidence in the organization. Enough confidence to take an immense pay cut to bolster his chances to win a title in what could be the last season of his career. Adding a dependable playmaker to the squad gives James the chance to sit back, rest and coach his way to the finals.
Williams is very dynamic with the basketball in his hands. He can shoot the mid-range, the three-ball and has made a living off of his pick and role-play. The most important factor though, is that he is very unselfish. He knows his role. He didn’t join the Cavs to be the star of the bunch or even with intentions of starting. For the first time in his career, Williams is a bench player. He replaced a streaky rookie in Kay Felder who shot under 40 percent from the field. The Cavs were looking for a backup who can maintain a lead when Irving is out of the game. Well, the Cavaliers have exceeded their expectations with this steal.
3. Andrew Bogut
Andrew Bogut is the most recent, and possibly most essential signee to make the Cavaliers the favorites for the 2017 title. Bogut has faced the Cavs in the past two finals as the center for Golden State. Spending four years at Golden State, he knows the Warriors playbook like the back of his hand and will be as much of a mental benefit as a physical one. The 32-year-old veteran stands seven-feet-tall and can wreck havoc off the boards. On the court, Bogut awards the Cavs with height and serves defensive weapon. He, just like Deron Williams is taking an enormous pay cut to be a part of a championship caliber team. Bogut averages 10 points and 8.9 rebounds a game through his 12-year career.