Community Shootaround: Cavaliers Controversy

LeBron James has never shied away from publicly criticizing team management if he feels something needs to be fixed.

With the Cavaliers enduring their worst stretch of the season — losing six of their last eight — their franchise player has gone of the offensive once again. James has openly questioned the front office for not surrounding the team’s Big Three with enough quality pieces. Most recently, he has lobbied for another playmaker to take some of the pressure off him and point guard Kyrie Irving.

Cavs GM David Griffin has tried to confront James’ criticisms head on, not only meeting with him but also telling the media that James’ recent comments were inappropriate and misguided.

According to an ESPN report today, James is not only upset with the current state of the roster but also at odds with owner Dan Gilbert over the payroll. James doesn’t believe the luxury tax bill should influence roster decisions, and even the recent acquisition of sharpshooter Kyle Korver to take the place on injured J.R. Smith has failed to appease The King.

Griffin stated this week that the club is willing to increase payroll if that move will make it “appreciably better.”

Cleveland has certainly been spending money since James rejoined the organization. As Hoops Rumors’ Luke Adams points out, the Cavs paid $107MM in team salary and $54MM in luxury tax last season. Those numbers are currently at about $127MM+ and $27MM+ for the current season.

That brings us to today’s topic: Was LeBron James out of line for his comments criticizing Cavs management and the state of the roster? Has the Cavs front office done enough to win another championship or should they keep spending, regardless of luxury-tax implications, to upgrade the roster?

Please take to the comments section and share your thoughts on this topic. We look forward to hearing your voice.

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21 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Cavaliers Controversy

  1. DarkGhost

    I’m a Lebron guy but I have to admit he is sounding like a whiny baby right now.

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  2. apathygood

    I don’t know if it’s necessarily out of line, I just think it’s a tad unreasonable to be upset when the organization already has posted league and franchise record highs in spending, and Lebron himself hamstrings the team with his yearly opt-out for more money antics.

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  3. If the players were playing there hearts out and it just wasn’t enough I’d be inclined to agree, but it just ain’t so. Look at the free throw shooting and turnovers for the last game. James needs to focus on his job (which is play your heart out and motivate your teammates to do the same) and let management deal with personnel. they can be champions again if they take defense and ball sharing seriously.

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  4. Even if it’s coming from the team’s biggest star, I still find LeBron out of line with his comments. Players should be allowed to suggest who the front office should target, but demanding it is overstepping his responsibilities as a player, unless he wants to be (he is “The King”, after all). But hey, it may not matter in the end. I mean they had plenty of controversy last year (changed coaches when they were No. 1 in the East last year, the Kevin Love trade rumors, etc.) and they still won the finals.

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  5. harvey

    Lebron is a spoiled coward! he left Cavs but
    stayed in East with loaded Heat The Heat get old Bosh very ill so he leaves Heat knowing Cavs have super star Kyrie Erving and getting all star Kevin Love a loaded team in weak East he sees Warriors loaded up so he pushesowner to spend insane money on mediocre tristin thompson and now wants more

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    • Bosh got sick (aka blood clots) after LeBron left. Also, Kevin Love wasn’t even a guarantee to go to Cleveland as he wasn’t traded for until after LeBron signed there.

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      • I would not be surprised if that wasn’t part of the deal to get Lebron there. Do what ever was necessary to get Love. It has already come out that the owner made the promise to spend as much money as possible to get the championship so how far fetched would other promises be.

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  6. Z-A

    He’s playing way too many minutes, so it feels like he has no help.

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  7. Formerlyz

    Cavs roster was perfect before birdman got injured, and they traded for Korver. Now they need to fix that mistake b/c their defense isn’t as good for obvious reasons. This is what happens when you make trades to make trades that make no sense. Now they need a big that can defend pick and roll, protect the rim, and catch and finish at the rim, and they need another wing that can defend, shoot the 3, and be a facilitater at times (that literally describes Mike Dunleavy). Since its really hard to do that in this league, it might make sense to add a guard that can defend and shoot. Norris Cole, Toney Douglas, and Mario Chalmers make some sense in that regard, and all have played with LeBron

    Determining if LeBron was out of line depends on who pushed for the Korver deal. If it was him, he is out of line. If it was David Griffin, then LeBron is right. Still, Tyrone Lue is to blame, in my opinion, as he was first to complain about needing a backup guard b/c he is obviously too poor of a coach to have figured out how to use that versatile roster. And on top of that, Felder has actually been pretty good for them lol. I honestly had them as the favorite to win barring GS adding another big, before the injury to birdman and the trade…so now they’re in this position. Now, they do need to make a move.

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  8. Cornbread

    If LeBron really cared about these things he would keep them private. This smells like his camp is trying to push the narrative that a potential loss this year in the playoffs couldn’t be pinned on LeBron, and instead on Gilbert/Griffin for not getting him the right players. If he decides to leave again, that storyline lays a pretty nice path out of Cleveland.

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  9. Reflect

    I was ok with his comments until he threw the GM and owner under the bus. Criticize the team but it’s disrespectful to accuse people of not even trying.

    This is the same GM who put together the championship team last year, and the same GM who made the team even better at every step. Korver was a great trade. I really don’t know what more Lebron could expect considering a key player is injured.

    He needs to stop whining and stop trying to play GM, cause he’s shown multiple times he isn’t good at GM stuff anyway.

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      • That’s so true.. no other team would give you a unprotected first round pick for a 35 shooter at the tail end of his career plus he’s a rental.. so the Hawks won in the long run..

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        • Formerlyz

          And they opened up more time for Hardaway Jr at the 2, and added a versatile veteran 3 that they needed with Dunleavy, so I still think it helps them this year as well, while Korver is a poor fit in Cleveland

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        • Reflect

          A first round pick doesn’t mean as much if you’re an elite team in the league and 29 other teams pick before you.

          Plus they ditched the Mo Williams salary.

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  10. yanksfourlife

    Melo and rose for Kylie and pieces to match figure and then cavs sign cp3 in off season everybody wins knock get young guard to go with prozingis and Kenton melo and Paul same team

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  11. nate23keenet

    Lebron just needs to shut up. Let the GM do his job. No other player in the league does this except him and It’s annoying

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  12. Slipmixin

    Not out of line in the comments James has made ,because it’s true they need another playmaker.
    It is unfortunate however that he felt the need to say it again when the Cavs gm is already under pressure to improve but doing so without disrupting the core and doing so when it is public knowledge what the King wants effecting Griffin’s ability to acquire said personel without other GM’s wanting more in return as a result of it. The Cavs org is not against adding salary but if they are in fact too comfortable because T Lue says we have what we need to win again then LeBron is right to think they might be missing opportunities even if it’s as simple as signing a fa right now that can fill that need and if a trade can be made before the deadline to further upgrade so be it.
    I think Griffin probably intends to stall in order to avoid swapping rotation players ,and will figure out a way to strengthen their end of bench even if it’s only by moving birdman for a healthy body big.

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  13. stevie mack

    If they get a big that can defend the paint and a point that can actually penetrate and assist, their roster would balance out..

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