Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin likes the makeup of his team. One week removed from winning the NBA Championship, he is not interested in making any big changes.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 26, 2016
To a degree, this makes sense. Obviously the Cavaliers just won an NBA Championship. With that, they shouldn’t be looking for any seismic shakeups.
But Griffin has to be careful. Not wanting to change things up is one thing. When not wanting change things up turns into not actively looking to improve, it becomes a problem. The Cavs are obviously NBA Champions, but that doesn’t mean they’re a flawless champion. Such a champion has never existed. The goal now has to go from winning the championship in 2016 to repeating in 2017.
Griffin also has to remember how much basketball his best player, LeBron James, has played since 2011. Between the Miami Heat and Cavaliers, LeBron’s teams have played in six straight NBA Finals. All the playoff games together add up to 128 extra games for LeBron, and that’s not even including his international appearances during that time.
This adds up to more than an extra season’s worth of basketball in these six years alone, not even counting the rest of his career. Eventually, he’s going to lose a little bit. While LeBron will still be better than most when he loses a step, continuing to win championships when that happens will require a deeper team. That’s what Griffin should be looking for this offseason. He shouldn’t be looking to shake up the nucleus, but adding depth at the bottom of the rotation must be a priority.
In this century, only the Los Angeles Lakers (2000-2002, 2009-2010) and Miami Heat (2012-2013) have repeated as champions. Too many other teams have failed by falling into the trap of not doing enough to improve. Cleveland is certainly capable of repeating, but it needs to keep improving.