What Free Agents Will Go to Cleveland With LeBron Only Committed to One More Year?
By Jason McIntyre
After suffering a devastating Game 3 defeat at home when Kevin Durant took over late and dominated LeBron, here’s a doomsday scenario for Cleveland Cavaliers fans going into this offseason:
- The Cavs GM since 2014 has been David Griffin. Even if you want to give LeBron credit for all their moves, just remember – Griffin had an instrumental role in building the ancillary players around LeBron to help put the Cavs in three straight Finals. From Mozgov to JR Smith to Korver, Griffin has made all the right moves (though it will be debated forever if LeBron told him to make them).
- LeBron, who turns 33 in December, only has one more year on his contract. He’s refused to commit long term to the Cavs because he wants to make sure the team keeps spending to remain competitive, and avoid the problems from his first run in Cleveland, where the front office failed repeatedly to bolster the supporting cast while LeBron carried mediocre players to 60+ wins, but no titles.
- What if billionaire owner Dan Gilbert decides that after paying the highest luxury tax in the NBA last year ($54 million) and having to pay $27 million this year, he decides that LeBron should take less money in 2018 like Tim Duncandid, and like Kevin Durant will do, to help the Cavs fortify the roster? Then what?
- Don’t bother looking to the draft for help, Cavs fans; Cleveland doesn’t have a 1st round pick until 2020.
The Cavs are mostly hamstrung to do anything this offseason, short of trading Kevin Love. You know his name will come up in trade talks in late June ahead of free agency. It’s going to be difficult to trade JR Smith; I’d say impossible to move Tristan Thompson. I know, I know – these were LeBron's guys, and it’s his fault you’re stuck with those players.
But you weren’t saying this last June, when they were instrumental in the comeback from the 3-1 hole.
Here's the Angry Email Cleveland Owner Dan Gilbert Sent to David Stern About the Chris Paul Trade
Sure, the Cavs could take a chance on Paul George and rent him for a year via trade in hopes he signs a long-term deal. Does Paul Georgewant to go somewhere he’s going to be the 3rd banana to LeBron and Kyrie, or does he want to go to Miami or Boston or the Lakers, where he’s going to be The Guy.
Lots of questions for the Cavs. Not many good answers.