#WFNYX and the Cavaliers moves: While We’re Waiting

LeBron James Cavs NBA Finals Game 4
Scott Sargent/WFNY

It’s my turn. Friday WWW on the week that WFNY turns 10 is something special. This has been a fun week of content at WFNY. It’s been great to hear from so many people who’ve been a part of WFNY history. It’s been fun to see so many people jump on board to buy t-shirts and support us on Patreon this week. We’re feeling the love. Thank you.

For me, the 10-year mark is kind of unbelievable. I never imagined that I’d still be writing about sports as a hobby as I sit in the shadow of my 40th year on the planet. If I hadn’t evolved and if this site hadn’t evolved, I probably wouldn’t still be doing this. Without the podcast, I surely would have quit. Alas, I’m not going to write too much about #WFNYX today. I think I covered it the best I possibly could with Rick on the podcast this week. Here it is in case you missed it.

LeBron James might leave, but the trade deadline gave me hope that there’s a chance he stays…

LeBron James is one of the greatest ever, but his body language has been awful for a huge portion of this season. The Cavaliers were listless, diseased, and their roster moves hadn’t worked. It was plain to see, and while the infection with this team was settling past the skin and down into the bones of Cavaliers fans, Koby Altman and Dan Gilbert showed up on Thursday and gave the team a much-needed blood transfusion. I don’t know if any of this will work for the Cavaliers to repeat as Eastern Conference champs, but I’m confident it gave them a better shot than what they had before the day began.

As always, nobody knows what LeBron James is going to do. There’s no natural landing spot for him. Even after executing a trade with the Lakers that gives them room to add two max player contracts, it’s hard to imagine that LeBron would go to the West at all, let alone get involved with the Ball family and their drama even if he’s joined by, say, Paul George. None of this is to say that the Cavaliers are a natural fit with Kevin Love and this new band of younger players whose best attributes are that they are not the guys they replaced.

The Cavaliers did get more flexible, and Dan Gilbert and Koby Altman showed an ability to get some things done. The Cavaliers managed to overhaul their roster, make it younger and still left themselves one more option with the Brooklyn pick in the off-season. Maybe it ends up being a fantastic rookie to join LeBron. Perhaps it ends up being used in a pick-swap with a trade to make a significant move because LeBron says he’s staying.

And look, I know that LeBron doesn’t need the money and that he makes plenty of money off the court, but there’s something to be said for maximizing all possible channels. As a 33-year-old man, LeBron can sign for five guaranteed years with the Cavaliers for something north of $200 million with annual increases allowed under the CBA for max deals. LeBron has always valued flexibility, but every NBA player has an endpoint to their career in mind. At some point, it’s just dumb not to guarantee yourself nearly $50 million guaranteed in the 2022-23 season when LeBron will be close to 40 years of age. If LeBron truly wants to buy a team someday, it only makes sense to maximize his basketball earnings, and he can’t do that anywhere other than Cleveland.

Then again, LeBron has gone his own way more times than most superstars in professional sports history. Nothing would shock me. I just know that LeBron James probably doesn’t feel worse about the Cavaliers today than he did at the beginning of the week.

I’m still holding out hope that LeBron wants to stay in Cleveland for his legacy, but it’s more hope than logic driving me.

In many ways, I don’t feel like Dan Gilbert, and the Cavaliers deserve to keep LeBron. In many ways, I don’t feel like I deserve to have LeBron James stay with the Cavaliers for the rest of his career either. He delivered a championship, and we’ve long since moved on from the constant misery, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lingering sense that we Cleveland fans just don’t deserve nice things. It’s the foundation that helped form the bond between Cleveland fans raised on The Drive, The Fumble, and The Shot. It’s that bond that enabled a group of people who didn’t know each other to form this site. It’s allowed multiple generations of writers to jump in dump their heart and soul into this place to put their mark on it and keep it going. It might be foolish to have hope that LeBron James ends his career in Cleveland, but it’s that same foolish hope that has kept all the people who’ve ever helped carry WFNY for even one day running on this treadmill with us.

Thanks for a great 10 years and counting.