LeBron James won’t consider signing with any team that isn’t ready to seriously contend for a title in 2014/15, and he’s unwilling to play for an inexperienced coach, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Windhorst casts doubt on the notion that landing a third No. 1 overall pick in four years will be enough to convince James to opt out of his contract with the Heat and sign with the Cavs this summer, unless Cleveland packages the pick or other assets in a trade for a star. To that end, the Cavs will most likely inquire with the Timberwolves about Kevin Love, according to Windhorst.
It would take a “dream scenario” to entice James to leave the Heat, Windhorst writes, and doing so would be virtually impossible if Miami were to win the title this year and set up a run at a fourth straight title next season, the ESPN.com scribe also says. Windhorst raises the idea that the Heat may also inquire about Love this summer in an effort to further enhance their odds of keeping the four-time MVP, but it’s unclear whether that’s truly in team president Pat Riley‘s plans or mere speculation.
Windhorst’s report seems to suggest that the Cavs must hire an experienced coach if they’re to have any chance at bringing James back to the franchise. Cavs GM David Griffin has indicated a desire to pivot from the team’s strategy of collecting high draft picks into a pursuit of veterans, so perhaps that philosophy will extend to the team’s coaching search, too.
The pressure is also seemingly on other would-be suitors for James to target additional stars in an effort to surround James with as strong a team as possible, just as the Heat added Chris Bosh to a team that already had Dwyane Wade when they signed James in 2010.