With what seems to be the impending addition of All Star Power Forward Amar’e Stoudemire to the roster of the Cleveland Cavaliers, it is only fitting to begin imagining the course of events after the trade is finalized. Admittedly, I am not the biggest fan of bringing Amar’e to the team, a trade for Antawn Jamison, Al Jefferson or no trade at all would have been my idea situation for this season… but that being said, I think this is the right move for the franchise if it gets pulled off. The addition of Amar’e makes the team much more dangerous offensively if the team meshes together, however, the success of the deal hinges on Mike Brown’s ability to coach defense and LeBron’s ability to inspire Amar’e to get on board with the whole strong team defense the Cavs typically possess. Admittedly, the fact that the front court could posses such an awesome and awe inspiring trio of LBJ, Amar’e and Shaq is exciting.
With this addition, the Cavs become favorites to win the championship. The Magic do not have another big banger to defend Stoudemire, and Howard will be overwhelmed with trying to stop Shaq, Amar’e and LBJ from getting to the rim. The Lakers have the front court to compete, but when it comes down to the bench, Anderson and Delonte trump Shannon Brown. The loss of Hickson will not be felt, as some of us think it will, because his production will only be doubled by his replacement. Zydrunas will come back likely in a month to make the championship run with the Cavs, so that he can retire and do what big white guys do after they retire, announce. You want to buy some DVD’s? will be his tag-line after someone dunks. It will be epic.
This however, could go 2 or 3 different ways. The hope is that Amar’e comes in and meshes with LBJ, Shaq, Mo and Parker and the bench guys, and creates an even more dynamic and unstoppable offense. Signs long term with Lebron and they become the next MJ/Pippen and establish a era of dominance on the league. This scenario will only play out if Amar’e is able to play selfless basketball, move without the ball, not demand the ball in all situations, and play defense. He has to be willing to step out and D-Up guys like Rashard Lewis and other stretch PF’s. He creates problems offensively with his ability to hit jumpers from all over the court, and his power in the pain is undeniable. However, he needs to show the willingness to get after it on defense, something we were all impressed with JJ Hickson and his ability to make plays. Even if Amar’e turns out to not be the best defender, things will even out with Anderson and him on the court at the same time, and his offense will make up for a few missed plays on defense.
Or, Amar’e could wreck this team. He could come in, not put up the effort and play defense, drive LeBron and company crazy and force LBJ out of town. This IS NOT likely, but it is a potential scenario. I doubt Amar’e’s ego is big enough to do that to his friend LeBron, and from what I could tell when they played together for team USA they enjoyed playing together. The tandem has far more potential to do good then bad. But that being said, there is always potential for it to go the opposite way, remember Larry Hughes?
The last possible scenario that I could envision, is that things go well, like in scenario 1, but ultimately do not work out this year. Scenario one has the Cavs strolling to a NBA title almost uncontested, however, in this version, Amar’e does what he needs to do to fit in, but like the last time the team made a huge trade, the team just doesn’t get it figured out. Like when the team added Ben Wallace, Wally, Delonte and all those other guys, it could be the case that it takes the new unit a year to get it together. I know it is not what we have in mind and no one wants to wait for that Championship banner, but with JJ and Z gone and Amar’e in the team chemistry might not be as solid. Once Z comes back however that could change quickly, but I highly doubt that LeBron will allow any issues to pop up on his team. He wants to win too badly, and Amar’e, Shaq, Mo, Andy, and everyone else is hungy, this is the year.
There is limitless amounts of potential locked up in this trade. If LBJ stays, Amar’e comes and they both sign long term, it really doesn’t matter who you put around them, this COULD BE the beginning of a Cavaliers dynasty.