I really liked the trade then and I love it even more now.
1. Last years team wasnt very dynamic. You had alot of good players but with limitations. IT had trouble playing on the ball so you played AB there who was great on ball but IT wasnt that good off ball. AB wasnt as good off ball as on and both gave up real height and length. Crowder couldnt put the ball on the deck all that often but was a good shooter with only one guy who could get him the ball IT. The entire starting lineup minus was system dependent to get shots. It worked against most teams but most of them didnt have a higher level they could take their games.
2. People talk about how much they will miss AB and Crowder and they will but I think its mostly from a leadership standpoint. This was not an elite defensive team. I believe Hayward's D is just as good as Crowders. AB will be missed for his shot making and D but in reality I didnt have any expectation that the team could sign him after this year.
3. Last year's team needed more dynamic players that's why I loved the addition of Brown and really didnt like the idea of Hield like many people wanted. You have to be able to defend the wing and the 15/16 team never never had plus athletes there.
4. Right from the jump I could tell this years line up addressed some of the primary issues that last years team faced. They were no longer super small 1 - 4 and could now switch just about every matchup using their length. They were able to challenge more shots and make passes more difficult.
5. They dont seem as vulnerable on the boards due to their overall length and athleticism. Horford in particular seems freed up to chase balls and seems to be much more active on the boards this year although its early.
6. Ultimately I like that this team has a quality top 9 without playing guys like Smart at the 3 or even the 4. I like the balance of the team and the overall size and length added to this team making it more competitive.
7. Lastly, when I look at the Cavs roster I have to say to myself who is going to guard Kyrie? We know IT and Crowder cant. Can Wade, Smith, or Shumpert? If IT isnt right do you really fear a closing lineup of Rose, LeBron Crowder, Love, and Wade when 2 of those guys cant shoot the 3 ball? It makes the Horford vs Love matchup easier to handle.
Oh one other thing. Going into that series with the Cavs, how many people said the Cs have one of the top 2 players? Or check that top 3 players in the series. I dont recall anyone saying the Cs had a top 2 player in the series but maybe top 3. Those things matter in a series therefore I have and will continue to love this trade.