The View From Pluto: New-Look Cavs Are Built To Win Now -- And In The Future

Feb 14, 2018

The new-look Cavs are rejuvenated nearly one week after overhauling the roster. The Cavs have won back-to-back games since trading six players and adding four new ones. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says the Cavs instantly improved once they unloaded veterans like Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade.

Pluto says the Cavs' approach in the off-season was to acquire veteran players who could help the team win now.

"You're bringing them on their last contract, or on their last leg, or on their last knee. And you find out that you thought there was a least a little gas in the tank, and there's barely a fume. And that's exactly what happened here."

'The ball is back in LeBron's hands and destiny in his hands.'

A younger team that's built to last
Pluto says the trades made the team younger.

"Among the four players, three of them are 25-years-old -- Larry Nance, Jr., Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood. The old man of the group in this instance is George Hill at 31.

Preparing for LeBron's next decision
All of the new players are under contract for next year.

"General Manager Koby Altman was looking ahead to the possibility that LeBron James leaves at the end of this season."

But, the stability could also help keep James in Cleveland.

"He's been to seven NBA Finals in a row, and it's a huge thing for him to keep that streak going."

A rejuvenated star
Pluto says James watched Isaiah Thomas "dominating the ball and missing shots and making turnovers and playing poor defense -- mostly because he had a major hip injury that was not healed. LeBron is looking at this going, ''Why should I be enthused about that?' He always says 'Father Time is undefeated.' He's been in the NBA for 15 seasons. This thing could switch in a couple years."

Now, Pluto says "the ball is back in LeBron's hands and destiny in his hands. The streak is in his hands."

A promising rookie
Pluto says another factor is rookie Cedi Osman, who's getting some playing time.

"He's 22-years-old from Turkey. Some people say the team is wasting a [roster] spot and he won't help them. General Manager Koby Altman disagreed, saying Osman could help because of his hustle. "And LeBron is taken with him because he likes that kind of player."

"I'm looking forward to the games from here on out and I think the fans are too. The whole tone of emails and and comments from fans have changed in a few days."