With the imminent start to the NBA season and high profile trades, including the most notable return of the ‘King’ to Cleveland: LeBron James, it promises to be one the most thrilling seasons in a while for the NBA.
After two successful championships in 2012 and 2013, LeBron and the Miami Heat went for a third consecutive NBA title in as many years, but they fell at the last hurdle to the San Antonio Spurs. Following this, 29-year old Lebron opted for a move to where he began his basketball career to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Starting anew and hoping to rebuild the young Cavaliers team, Lebron joins point guard Kyrie Irving, who in his fourth year in the NBA is one of the hottest young talents on offer. Also joining this pairing is the NBA veteran Kevin Love, who made the move from the Minnesota Timberwolves to join the Cavaliers and the conquest for an NBA title this upcoming season.
But the big moves of LeBron and Love means that the Cavaliers had to trade their two 1st round picks in Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, from the last two years NBA combine draft. These two players would have been the future of the Cavaliers franchise but building a team around Wiggins and Bennett would have taken more time than trading them for proven players in the league in the hope of immediate success. Whether this proves to be the right move for Cleveland will depend on how quickly they can gel as a team, while further questions surround how the fans will respond to James on his return after Cleveland fans were seen burning his jersey upon his departure to Miami in 2010.
Other noticeable arrivals to this season are Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose, who will both be returning from long periods of injury. Chicago Bulls’ Rose will hope to start the season strong with the addition of Pau Gasol from the LA Lakers and the ever present Joakim Noah, while the Lakers fans will expect much from a rejuvinated Bryant, who will be joined by new signings Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin as they seek a return to the form which saw them win back to back titles in 2009 and 2010.
With much to look forward to this season, basketball fans await to see how LeBron James will respond to the pressure on him. Hopefully, the hype lives up to expectations.