LeBron James is intent on making the “appropriate business decision” as he approaches his next chance at free agency, even if that means leaving the Cavs, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group hears. There would no doubt be harsh public criticism were he to leave Cleveland a second time, but he’s willing to act if his hand is forced, Haynes writes. James, who celebrates his 30th birthday today, has a player option worth more than $21.573MM for next season, though he’s said on multiple occasions that he inked a short-term contract simply to maximize his earnings and without the intention of signing with any other team.
James gave conflicting statements Monday about his feelings regarding coach David Blatt, but the four-time MVP hasn’t gone to Cavs management to request that Blatt be fired, nor will he at any point this season, a league source tells Haynes. James said that his relationship with Blatt improves by the day and that Blatt has the attention of his players, in response to rumors that Cavs management is concerned about the way the roster has taken to Blatt, notes fellow Northeast Ohio Media Group scribe Joe Vardon. Still, when Vardon asked James whether he felt Blatt was the right coach for the team, James simply said, “Yeah, he’s our coach, I mean, what other coach do we have?” as Vardon passes along via Twitter.
The Cavs have reportedly been a “little uncomfortable” with the ability James has to hit free agency again so soon, and he has no desire to play for a “sputtering organization,” Haynes writes. The Cavs, at 18-12, have struggled to establish themselves as the elite team they were roundly expected to be this season. Still, it’s similar to what played out for years ago in Miami, when James was also with a team having difficulty blending the talents on a revamped, superstar-laden roster. The Heat nonetheless made the Finals all four years that James was with the club.