For the fourth time in as many years, the NBA Finals will feature both the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
The matchup may be the same, but the teams have undergone a number of changes to their respective rosters. In total, 10 players remain from the first series three years ago.
In a league where change is inevitable, much has changed since the teams first met in 2015…
Golden State Warriors
Four of the Warriors' five starters from the 2015 Finals-clinching Game 6 remain in the first unit three years later - Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green. The lone missing piece, Harrison Barnes, signed with the Dallas Mavericks in 2016 after Golden State signed 2014 league MVP Kevin Durant.
Notable veterans such as Leandro Barbosa, David Lee and Andrew Bogut are no longer in the NBA, but the Warriors have rebuilt through the draft. Since winning in 2015, Golden State has acquired Kevon Looney, Patrick McCaw, Damian Jones and Jordan Bell on draft day. Reserve guard Quinn Cook was also not in the NBA at the time.
The Warriors have also acquired veterans JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, David West and Nick Young via free agency since their first title.
|Head Coach||Steve Kerr||Steve Kerr|
|Starters||Stephen Curry||Stephen Curry|
|Klay Thompson||Klay Thompson|
|Harrison Barnes||Kevin Durant|
|Andre Iguodala*||Andre Iguodala|
|Draymond Green||Draymond Green|
|Reserves||Shaun Livingston||Shaun Livingston|
|Andrew Bogut*||Kevon Looney|
|Leandro Barbosa||Quinn Cook|
|Festus Ezeli||Jordan Bell|
|Justin Holiday||Nick Young|
|David Lee||David West|
|Ognen Kuzmic||Zaza Pachulia|
|James McAdoo||Damian Jones|
|Brandon Rush||Patrick McCaw|
|Marreese Speights||JaVale McGee|
* Iguodala was inserted into the starting lineup in Game 4 of the 2015 Finals in place of Andrew Bogut, who started in Games 1-3.
From top to bottom, Cleveland looks much different than it did three years ago. In fact, the team has undergone a multitude of changes since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
In the 2015 Finals, the Cavs were led by head coach David Blatt - for the third consecutive year, Tyronn Lue will be at the helm in the Finals after replacing Blatt in January 2016.
Cleveland's starting unit consists of four members of the 2015 Finals team: LeBron James, Kevin Love, JR Smith and Tristan Thompson. The most glaring absence is of course Kyrie Irving, who was dealt to the Boston Celtics in the 2017 offseason. Irving has been replaced by veteran guard George Hill in the starting lineup.
The Cavs had made a number of trades since the first installment of the series, acquiring Kyle Korver, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Rodney Hood and Ante Zizic through various deals. The free agent acquisitons of Jeff Green and Jose Calderon have paid dividends throughout the postseason.
Kendrick Perkins, a late-season acquisition in 2018, was also a member of the 2015 Finals team. He has not appeared in a postseason game but has been an important veteran presence.
Cleveland acquired the draft rights of energetic wing Cedi Osman just nine days after losing to the Warriors in the 2015 Finals. Osman joined the team for the 2017-18 season. Second-year forward Okaro White signed with the Cavs a week before the 2017-18 season ended to round out the roster.
|Head Coach||David Blatt||Tyronn Lue|
|Starters||Kyrie Irving||George Hill|
|Iman Shumpert||JR Smith|
|LeBron James||LeBron James|
|Kevin Love/Tristan Thompson*||Kevin Love|
|Timofey Mozgov||Tristan Thompson|
|Reserves||JR Smith||Jeff Green|
|James Jones||Kyle Korver|
|Matthew Dellavedova||Jordan Clarkson|
|Shawn Marion||Larry Nance Jr.|
|Mike Miller||Rodney Hood|
|Joe Harris||Jose Calderon|
|Brendan Haywood||Cedi Osman|
|Kendrick Perkins||Kendrick Perkins|
|Anderson Varejao||Ante Zizic|
* Love started in four games in the 2018 postseason before being sidelined with a shoulder injury. Thompson replaced Love, starting in 15 of 20 postseason games at power forward.