The Cavaliers will take the court this evening against the Suns, but prior to the game, two of Cleveland’s beat writers discussed the current state of the Cavaliers. Here are a few takeaways from their discussions:
- It is unlikely LeBron James will return to Cleveland, according to Bob Finnan of The News-Herald. Finnan is hearing from many around the league who “now think Heat forward LeBron James will take a pass on returning to the Cavaliers in free agency this summer.” Finnan thinks it becomes “extremely tough” for LeBron to leave Miami if the Heat are able to win a third consecutive NBA title this season.
- Finnan also dismisses the rumors that the Cavaliers may try to sign Luol Deng and James this offseason. According to him, there isn’t a way for the Cavaliers to do that without “dump[ing] some major contracts this summer.” It is Finnan’s opinion that Cleveland’s best odds of resigning Deng are through an extension this season, but he believes Deng does not seem interested in that option.
- Kyrie Irving will likely have the chance to sign a max extension this summer with the Cavaliers, but Jason Lloyd of the Beacon Journal wonders if he has earned that contract. Lloyd examines Irving’s value similar to how Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune evaluated Kevin Love last night and points out the Cavaliers are 80-193 since Irving’s arrival. Lloyd places partial blame on Cleveland’s failure to provide Irving much help of late but reiterates the All-Star has to take some of the blame if “he is truly the leader.” Lloyd urges the Cavaliers to begin holding Irving accountable instead of “anoint[ing] him the Big Man on Campus immediately upon [his arrival].” This summer’s negotiations between the Cavs and Irving will be a strong indicator as to what level of accountability the organization will place on the 21-year-old.
- It seems the Cavaliers are not alone in their surprise as to how Anthony Bennett‘s season has transpired. In a separate piece, Jason Lloyd of the Beacon Journal has heard from teams around the league that they had Bennett as a top 10 draft choice and “no one has [told Lloyd] they saw this coming.” Lloyd also adds that for the current time Bennett is “not going [to the D-League], period.”