OUR SPORTS WORLD
To paraphrase Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Part III, every time I think I'm in with LeBron James, he pulls me back out...
The Cleveland Cavaliers' hopes for another NBA title are unraveling. And the bulk of the problems always seems end up on James' doorstep. There's been talk about how much James was involved with David Blatt's firing and the Kyrie Irving trade. He was instrumental in helping J.R. Smith and Tristian Thompson get big contracts that have now hampered the team. The ongoing drama concerning Kevin Love's place on the team has been distracting and petty. But it's once again, it's LeBron's impending free agency that casts the biggest sense of dread over Cleveland.
The Cavs are stuck between trying to placate their star and keeping their building blocks for the future. They have tried to add a few parts like Dwayne Wade and Derrick Rose without mortgaging their future, but the results have been mixed. The front office knows that the best way for them to upgrade is with a deal involving their 1st round pick. But why would they when James has been vague about his future? The Cavs have already seen what happens to a team post-LeBron once. Miami is learning that lesson. If James told the team he would resign, they might have made more aggressive moves. But it looks as if LeBron is trying to have it both ways. Cleveland is doing the smart thing here.
All of this begs the question: is LeBron James even worth the trouble? As great as he's been, there are a lot of miles on James' tires. If he signs a four year deal with anyone, he'll be 37 at the end of it. And it's doubtful he'd take anything less than a max deal. Do the Lakers want to sign LeBron, risk stunting the growth of their young talent, and deal have to with LaVar Ball too? Will they take the ball out of James Harden's hands if LeBron goes to Houston? What about Philadelphia? Will James trust their process?
Now there are rumors that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is putting the team up for sale. Maybe LeBron could team up with his buddy Warren Buffet and buy the team. Then "King James" could be more than just a self-appointed nickname.