LeBron James informed team management that he was willing to switch to power forward if it helped the Cavaliers land Joe Johnson after he agreed to a buyout with the Nets and became a free agent, Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. James confirmed that he made the offer, telling Haynes, “All I care about is winning. That’s all that matters to me. A piece like Joe, you know what it does to your team and if he was concerned about playing time or concerned about starting, then I’ll sacrifice. I’ll sacrifice to get a guy like that to help us try to win a championship.” The 31-year-old hasn’t been too keen on the idea in the past and wanted to avoid the nightly pounding that goes along with playing the four spot, Haynes notes. But the chance to add a player of Johnson’s caliber trumped any of his concerns, Haynes adds.
When asked if he would have considered such a move earlier in his career, James was non-committal, Haynes relays. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I can’t answer that, but I know I’ll do it now,” James told the scribe. “I mean, you’re trying to make a push. We’re in March. You get a guy like Joe Johnson, you get a guy that can change your team for the better. I wouldn’t have a problem with [moving to the four]. If he wanted to come in and start and we wanted to keep J.R. Smith in the starting lineup and if Double-T [Tristan Thompson] or Mozzy (Timofey Mozgov) had to come off the bench in order for Joe to start and slide Kevin Love to the five, I would have done it.”
Here’s the latest out of the East:
- Hornets big man Al Jefferson has no issues with coming off the bench as he continues to make his way back from knee surgery, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer relays. “I’ve been telling people all week I kind of like coming off the bench,” Jefferson said. “You kind of see how the game is going and you get to play against the backup center most of the time. You kind of know what you need to do or what you shouldn’t do, and I kind of like it. If coach wants me back in the starting lineup, I’d be fine with that. But off the bench, I’m fine with that right now, getting myself in better shape.” The 31-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, so his willingness to adapt to a new role is certainly a positive sign for the team if it wishes to re-sign the center.
- Robert Covington is one of GM Sam Hinkie‘s best finds during his tenure with the team, but the Sixers need to add more offensive firepower via the draft and free agency so coach Brett Brown can utilize the combo forward as a role player rather than a starter, something he is better suited to for the long-term, Jake Hyman of RealGM opines.