Cavaliers, Headlines

Let the “LeBron’s Leaving Cleveland” rumors commence

With a Cleveland Cavaliers championship on his resume, a 3-0 deficit in the 2017 NBA Finals, and one year remaining on his contract, LeBron James is once again in the news as the subject of potentially swapping teams in the not-so-distant future. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor references a year-old report by Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnorowski and adds a little of his own reporting in saying that James could have his eyes focused out West if the timing is right.

Multiple league sources I’ve spoken to think the Lakers or Clippers are viable destinations for King James. … Jalen Rose said this week on First Take that he expects LeBron to make a move from Cleveland to California, where he already owns a house 30 minutes away from Staples Center.

The fact is, when you look at their roster, you’re likely saying to yourself that every single player should be on the trade block except for LeBron and Kyrie. The Cavs have a fundamentally flawed roster, no differently than they did when he left the first time or when he departed Miami. By going into win-now mode, they did complete their mission of winning a title last season. That made it all worth it. But those moves could also end up being the reason LeBron develops wandering eyes over the next year.

O’Connor lays out multiple scenarios where James could either equip himself with a younger roster, Paul George, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball with the Lakers, or team up with his banana boat-riding friends with the Clippers, a team reported to be offering point guard Chris Paul a new contract in the near future. The only thing the Lakers, owners of the No. 2 pick in the draft, would have to do to clear space for James would be to move Luol Deng and former Cavalier Timofey Mozgov. For the Clipper-based scenario to unfold, it would take Dwyane Wade opting in with the Bulls and becoming a free agent after the 2017-18 season, and Carmelo Anthony being dealt in some facet for Blake Griffin. LeBron himself would have to take a huge discount, something he hasn’t exactly been willing to do over the last few seasons.

On August 8, 2014, during his homecoming rally in Akron, James told the media “”I don’t plan on going anywhere—I don’t have the energy to do it again.” When asked about his future during Wednesday’s media availability, however, James said that he hasn’t thought about it much, offering “I definitely want to compete—compete for championships every year. We’ll see what happens.” It’s tough to envision a scenario where moving West and playing the Golden State Warriors seven times per season would be a better way to compete for championships. As O’Connor concluded:

LeBron leaving the East is nothing more than a fantasy. Until the Lakers start making progress or the Clippers find clarity, teams would be wise to operate under the assumption that LeBron will permanently serve as the Eastern Conference gatekeeper.

I also know that the last time Clevelanders spent an entire 18 months focusing on what could happen regarding LeBron James’ contract at some point in the future, I took for granted the excellence that was unfolding in front of me in present time. I refuse to let that happen again.

  • RGB

    Blow it up!
    Trade for Paul, Melo and Wade. Sign Bosh. Pay a zillion dollars in luxury tax for George.
    And still lose to Oakland.

  • Eric G

    Going to be a fun off season, right?

    Right?

    Hello?

    Is this thing on?

  • JM85

    Go to the Finals every year in the East or have to deal with the Warriors in the West?

  • Chris

    No way. He’s signing with Oakland. You heard it here first.

  • Chris

    That will be $9.86. Please pull around to the first window.

  • mgbode

    The Cavs have a fundamentally flawed roster, no differently than they did when he left the first time or when he departed Miami.

    No different than starting Anthony Parker, JJ Hickson, Mo Williams, and Fat Shaq

    So…

    Mo = Kyrie
    Parker = JR
    JJ = TT
    Shaq = Love

    I mean, obviously.

  • CBiscuit

    No! Let’s make it go away! Fake news! Loretta Lynch! Benghazzi! Walls! Covfefe!

  • Mike Bogucci

    Am I wrong for not caring too much? If he stays, it should be a VERY interesting offseason. If he leaves, he leaves. I am not blaspheming, am I?

  • chrisdottcomm

    LeBron is obviously so tired of making it to the Finals with a chance to win it every year in the East that he’d rather move to the West (with a running mate of Lonzo Ball no less) with a chance to get bounced in the second round.

    It totally removes all the pressure.

    Dude is playing 3D chess.

  • chrisdottcomm

    The Cleveland Cavaliers (who went 12-1 in the East playoffs) and very well could be up on a KD-less Warriors, Spurs, Rockets, Clippers, etc have a fundamentally flawed roster that requires LeBron to leave.

    Mhhhmmhhh…if only we had Brad Stevens to sort this whole thing out.

  • chrisdottcomm

    He contractually obligated with the Cavaliers for the next season, we are speaking in terms of the season after.

    This upcoming offseason will be interesting from the standpoint of if you see LeBron recruit to Cleveland. *Might* be an indicator on his future plans, but honestly he’s an enigma.

    To your point though if he leaves in 2018 the entire city should be on it’s feet with a thunderous applause and best wishes to him.

  • Chris

    But Lonzo is already better than Curry!

  • Chris

    But Lonzo is already better than Curry!

  • Greg Popelka

    Statue

  • chrisdottcomm

    Oh no doubt.

  • MartyDaVille

    Awriiiiight! Despite any and all denials and evidence to the contrary, we are going to beat this story into the ground every day for the foreseeable future! Remember how right we were about Kevin Love? Okay, check that . . .

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb8e542951dea86f739290554a83ed9162ccb83d7610d9c7a612b2a4049757bb.jpg

  • Mike Bogucci

    Don’t get me wrong. I agree that we should pat him on the back and give him a firm handshake should he leave. I didn’t know he was already locked for next season, that’s a good thing. It will certainly be interesting (exciting?) to see the moves they make. Side note, this site is THE place I go for “real” insight. Thanks to all of you f-sticks!!! GPO DAW UND!!!

  • chrisdottcomm

    Statue.

  • JNeids

    Can you imagine the taekz from Lavar if Lebron went to the Lakers and he couldn’t deliver Lonzo a ring??? I might actually root for this just to watch the internet finally implode.

  • Chris

    “Hey Lonzo, this lifetime billion dollar shoe deal of mine is awesome! How’s your cute little family brand doing? Now toss me that Gatorade bottle without the label on it!”