The Cavs are confident LeBron James won’t leave in free agency again, but they understand that at least a slight chance exists that he would if they once more come up short in the postseason, writes Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. James “lashed out” at his teammates during the players-only meeting that followed the firing of David Blatt, sources told Lowe, and many in the Cavs brass have kept a nervous eye on the signs of discontent that James has shown on the court. The four-time MVP has the power to press for changes. Lowe confirms that the Cavs and Celtics spoke about Kevin Love before last month’s trade deadline but hears the Celtics made a lowball offer. The ESPN scribe believes chances are strong that Cleveland will trade Love if the team doesn’t deliver in the playoffs, underscoring the unusual level of concern surrounding a team poised to grab the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
See more from the Central Division:
- It’s a key summer for the development Michael Carter-Williams, Bucks coach Jason Kidd argues, but Kidd maintains his faith in the former Rookie of the Year, as Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel details. Carter-Williams, who’s out for the season with a torn labrum in his left hip, will be eligible to sign a rookie scale extension from July through October. “Michael is able to guard the point,” Kidd said. “Giannis [Antetokounmpo] isn’t going to guard the point. You’ve got to have a small on the floor. With Michael being able to work on his jump shot and become consistent, it only makes us better.”
- Bulls GM Gar Forman and executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson know they need to change the roster this summer, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf seems inclined to empower them to do so, writes Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com. Still, Friedell takes Forman and Paxson to task for failing to see the fissures in this group of players last year and for a coaching change that hasn’t panned out. The Bulls, who held a team meeting Sunday, have lost four in a row and are two games in the loss column behind the Pistons for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
- Cavs GM David Griffin is at fault for failing to put someone in the locker room who can hold LeBron accountable, at least to a degree, but the superstar is ultimately worth all the angst, contends TNT’s David Aldridge in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com.