The Cleveland Cavaliers’ interest in Mo Williams and (maybe) Joe Johnson ensures that the team knows another scorer has to suit up. And love Iman Shumpert as much as you want, he’s not that guy — at least not yet. Last season the Cavs stormed back after a mediocre start and, despite losing Kyrie Irving to injury for the Finals, nearly triumphed. That near-miss came on the granite shoulders of LeBron James, who carried more weight for his team than any individual player since Wilt Chamberlain in Philadelphia.
James’s increased productivity helped the Cavs make their fiery playoff run, but in the long view it may be a losing proposition. In the Eastern Conference last year, the top TWO scorers wore Cleveland jerseys — James was first and Irving second in the entire conference in points per game. James pulled off something like that in Miami with Dwyane Wade, but there Chris Bosh was a bigger force than any of the tertiary players the Cavaliers had last year. It could be Kevin Love, whose comfort level in the offense was gaining until his season-ending injury. But it’ll have to be somebody.