Now that LeBron James has returned to the Cavaliers, sports fans in Cleveland needed something else to worry about.
They were provided that yesterday when it was revealed that James signed only a two-year deal and can opt out after one. People in social media started the angst rolling shortly after the news broke.
Look, it would be a real shock if LBJ invoked the opt out after the 2014-15 campaign and went to another team after the heart warming essay he issued on SI.com revealing his love for Northeast Ohio.
Unless Dan Gilbert wrote another letter blasting him or new coach David Blatt benched him, what James and his management group did was simply a business move. With a new television contract coming and the salary cap increasing, James put a mechanism in place to ensure he will be the NBA’s highest paid player for the balance of his career.
He stated in his essay that he intended to finish his career as a Cavalier, and all fans of the wine and gold should take him at his word on this.
So relax and enjoy the fact that LeBron James will be wearing the wine and gold of the Cleveland Cavaliers once again.
Where does the organization go from here? First, the rebuilding process is over and the Cavs are now contenders for an NBA title. Although fans want and are projecting that this upcoming season, it really isn’t likely, but certainly David Blatt’s squad will be in the playoffs.
And remember that the Cavs did win 33 games last night despite a poor coaching staff. They probably are much closer to a .500 team than their record would indicate.
The rumors abound that Cleveland is in the mix for free agent to be (after next season) Kevin Love. The power forward’s critics will point out that Love has never appeared in a playoff game.
However, that is merely the luck of the draw. If the Timberwolves were in the Eastern Conference, they would have made the post-season with their 40-42 record.
Love averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game last year, and is a 38% shooter from beyond the three-point line. He also will not turn 26 years old until September. He’s played for the US Olympic team which won the gold medal in 2012 t00, where he played with James.
If GM David Griffin can get him without dealing this year’s top draft pick, Andrew Wiggins, why wouldn’t you make that deal? And if Dion Waiters needs to be included, that shouldn’t be an impediment.
Trading draft picks? So what, the Cleveland roster is still very young and dealing some of the first round picks accumulated by the Cavs’ front office wouldn’t be a hardship to the franchise.
After all, they just moved two former first round picks in Sergey Karasev and Tyler Zeller to create cap space to sign James.
Love’s defense has been questioned, but good coaches can scheme around that and playing defense is mostly about effort and James will make sure his new teammates know that it is worth the work.
Also, wouldn’t it be incredible to see Love fire one of his three-quarter court outlet passes to James streaking down the court?
Even if Cavs do not make another huge move, they should be one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. One issue is the division which probably has the two other top teams in the conference in Indiana and Chicago.
The Cavs could finish with the second best record in the East and be the fourth seed.
The philosophy of the Cavalier front office changed when James agreed to sign here on Friday. They have a chance to win a title next season. Again, not to say they will, but if they can add an all-star player without giving up Wiggins, who could be a special player in two to three years?