In July 2013, the Brooklyn Nets traded numerous draft picks, along with a handful of role players, to the Boston Celtics for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and D.J White. It was a risky move, yes, but it was one that the Nets thought could bring an NBA championship to Brooklyn.
“We thought at the time that that Miami team with LeBron and where he was at (that) stage was vulnerable,” The Vertical’s NBA Front Office Insider Bobby Marks said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I’ve said it all along (to) teams this past trade deadline: You have to be careful with him, with LeBron. He’s got three, four – how many more good years? When you think he’s maybe missed a step, he’s as good as you’ve seen in these playoffs here.”
James is averaging 34.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.1 assists for Cleveland, which is 8-0 in the postseason.
In 2013, though, Marks sensed weakness in Miami.
“The bench (that was) there, it’s almost like the situation in Golden State (where) you’ve got a top-heavy roster,” Marks said. “At the time, it was (Chris) Bosh, (Dwyane) Wade, Ray Allen was there, LeBron there, and you figure here’s your chance to maybe overtake them, to push them. You put a veteran group (together) like we did in Brooklyn, and if you make a mistake like that – I think that’s where Boston kind of pulled in the reins a little bit at the trade deadline. It will cost you for the long haul here (if you make a mistake). I think that’s where teams really have to be careful.”
Indeed, both the Cavs and Warriors are closing in on their third consecutive NBA Finals. That trend doesn’t seem likely to end anytime soon, either.
“Teams are going to have to be in a waiting mode – waiting for LeBron to either get older (or for the Cavs to have) a key injury here – and that Golden State team is not going anywhere,” Marks said. “People ask me all the time, ‘Can you keep the Big Four with this new CBA?’ And I say yes. It all depends on what they do with their bench from a depth perspective. . . . (But) you’re almost in a waiting game here because the trend is going to continue. Cleveland (will) return their main guys.”
Read: James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. The Big Three are the bulk of the puzzle. After that, it’s just about filling in the pieces.
“I know the depth issue is always there,” Marks said, “but who’s not to say when we get to March 1 next year that they’ll pick up two guys off the waiver buy-out like we saw with Deron Williams? Or maybe David Griffin can make another trade. So the ability to improve that team is there, although you’re somewhat limited financially.”