ESPN Predicts Cleveland Cavaliers as 2015-16 NBA Champions

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CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 26: The Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate after defeating the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 26, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Cavaliers are the favorites to win the 2016 NBA Finals.

According to ESPN’s Summer Forecast, the Cavaliers will hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in 2016. The ESPN panel was asked this time around which team would emerge as NBA champions next season, and the Cavaliers emerged as the clear-cut favorite with 119 total points.

The 2015 NBA champion Golden State Warriors, finished as runner-ups with 84 total points. Only five other teams were chosen to win the NBA Finals next season, with the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder rounding out the top five.

The Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls also received votes.

While the Cavaliers arguably have the most talented roster in the entire league, they will have to resist the temptation of getting caught up in their own hype. LeBron James knows all too well about that, having experienced it during his tenure with the Miami Heat from 2010 until 2014.

Cleveland might be without Kyrie Irving for the first few months of the season, and key role player Tristan Thompson remains an unsigned free agent less than a month before training camp begins.

Things are looking bright for the Cavaliers as they look to avenge last season’s Finals loss to the Warriors. While they may be the championship favorites on paper entering the season, they’ll have to actually prove it on the court.

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D.J. Siddiqi is a staff writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has followed the NBA passionately since the 90's and has taken a keen interest in following LeBron James' career since he was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 draft. Once a critic of LeBron, DJ has grown to admire James as he has evolved from 18-year-old phenom to a four-time MVP and two-time NBA Champion. He looks forward to bringing his knowledge of the game to Cavaliers Nation.