LeBron James: Cavs Need To Add Playmaker

Shortly after the Cavaliers acquired Kyle Korver earlier this month, LeBron James told reporters that the team still needed a backup point guard and another big man. General manager David Griffin wasn’t sold on the idea of adding another frontcourt player, but agreed with James that the Cavs could use another playmaker. Now, with Cleveland having lost five of its last seven games, the reigning Finals MVP has repeated his call for roster reinforcements.

“I just hope that we’re not satisfied as an organization,” James said on Monday night to a handful of Cavs’ beat reporters, including Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. “I just hope we’re not satisfied.”

As McMenamin details, James told reporters that this year’s Cavs aren’t better than last year’s team from a personnel standpoint, having failed to adequately replace a few departing players like Matthew Dellavedova and Timofey Mozgov. James also views Cleveland’s roster as too “top-heavy,” relying on him, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love for a huge portion of the club’s production during the regular season.

“It’s great to have bodies (in the regular season),” James said. “Obviously, in the playoffs, you go down to what, eight max? And if somebody gets in foul trouble, you go to nine. You’re not playing back-to-backs. You have two days in between. You’re able to lock in. … When you don’t have bodies, it’s tough. The (expletive) grind of the regular season. We’re a top-heavy team.”

[RELATED: Five ways Cavs could address backup point guard spot]

James acknowledged that the front office was handcuffed to a certain extent by Mo Williams‘ last-minute decision to retire, since Williams had been penciled in as the team’s backup point guard prior to training camp. The 32-year-old also acknowledged that reliable rotation players don’t grow on trees, but stressed that the Cavs “need a (expletive) playmaker.”

“I don’t know what we got to offer (in trades),” James said. “I just know me, personally? I don’t got no time to waste. I’ll be 33 in the winter, and I ain’t got time to waste. That’s what I’m talking about.”

As James hints, the Cavs don’t have a ton of appealing assets to dangle in trade talks. The earlier first-round pick Cleveland can trade is its 2021 selection, and most of the players the club can afford to part with have modest contracts, which could make salary-matching difficult. The Cavs have five traded player exceptions at their disposal, but the largest one is worth about $4.84MM, so any player making more than $5MM or so would be out of reach with those TPEs. The team will also have to be wary of adding too much more salary to its books — no NBA club has a higher payroll ($127MM+) or a more substantial projected tax bill ($27MM+) than Cleveland.

[RELATED: Salary Cap Snapshot: Cleveland Cavaliers]

Nonetheless, the Cavs figure to continue scouring the market for potential difference-makers. Mitch Lawrence of Forbes suggests that Jameer Nelson, Rajon Rondo, and Deron Williams are among the team’s possible targets, and while some of those options are probably less realistic than others, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Cleveland make a move before next month’s trade deadline.

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70 thoughts on “LeBron James: Cavs Need To Add Playmaker

  1. kayden_welling

    Cavs need to trade shumpert and frye as a package and get someone young and will be a play maker.or they trade frye and shumpert separate and get early picks or get young guys that are cheap but will bring scoring and defense

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    • No, cavs trade Kevin Love !! to PG and Center.
      Frye, Thompson, James..

      Rick Rubio, Deron Willians… Regiie Jackson

      Add Chris Bosh 2018.

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    • Nobody is giving much of anything for Shumpert and/or Frye. Just because the Cavs have needs, and some spare parts, doesn’t mean another team is giving up a better player for either or both of them. The funny thing is, in order to placate LeBron, the Cavs signed Thompson and Smith to well above market contracts, and also overpaid (in trade assets) to get Frye and Korver. Hopelessly in luxury tax land, unless the Cavs decide to move Love, they have little to nothing to offer a rebuilding team (the only type of team that trades playmakers in season).

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  2. j12harris

    The Cavs do not have a bench to compete. When GSW acquired KD it set them back big time. The Cavs must respond

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    • Dionis

      Oh please, you ever heard Jordan or Kobe whining about what they played with? They just balled and if moves cames so be it, they just shut up and play their hearts out. This bum wants to play comfortable, geez Kyrie Irving just dropped 49 points and they still lost? Where was Lebron? He’s garbage

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      • paulkauffmann

        Lebron is garbage what league do you play in he asked for certain changes last season how did that turn out “garbage”

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        • Dionis

          Kobe was playing with Smush Parker and Chris Minh for Christ Sakes, with just Gasol and Odom who are not near Kyrie, Kevin Love or Wade and Bosh he won 2 rings. You people talk about Kobe getting rings with Shaq but Shaq would be ringless without Kobe, Kobe was arguably the best defender in the game through that 3 peat and the best wing in the game, he had everything, shooting, playmaking, was clutch and wasn’t afraid to take over games. Lebron would have shat his shorts against that Scottie Pippen lead Blazers team.

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      • Reflect

        That’s because Jordan played with two other hall of famers for like his entire career.

        If Kobe or lebron had those bulls teams they’d never whine either.

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        • Dionis

          Jordan LED those teams, he never leaned on Pippen or anyone on his rosters. He scored when it mattered and got his team out of deficits with his scoring, Lebron has been saved by a ton of luck with Ray Allen and Kyrie Irving. Jordan was NEVER on the brink of elimination in the NBA Finals, 6-0>3-4

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      • LeBron had a triple double. If that counts for garbage, I assume that you think Westbrook is garbage?

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        • Dionis

          he had a triple double? so what? He plays on a stacked team, is he not the “GOAT”? He is not playing better then Westbrook,Harden, Durant, or Leonard just to name a few. Don’t give me the he takes regular season easy BS, he is just declining and wants to mask his weaknesses with a flawless roster because he knows he has no chance at beating the Warriors. Westbrook is a way better basketball player then Lebron, better passer, better shooter, better ball handler, way more mentally strong, better leader, arguably a better rebounder(look at the size difference, he is blew right past Lebron for more triple doubles all time. Come on seriously.

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    • LOL Warriors bench is plenty good with Iggy, Livingston, David West, Ian Clark. You may also laugh but Javelle McGee in his limited role has played well for us.

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  3. Dionis

    This Self centered loser just whines and whines and whines some more. Is it not enough that Adam Silver and the refs will aide you in the Finals this season and that you have yet another cakewalk to the Finals? Who’s really got a chance against your dream team,Silver, and the refs in the East? Toronto? Lmao give me a break. Any team that plans on beating this crybaby needs to make sure they came out firing and build a lead on him, any game within 10-15 points the refs will make sure they put that primadonna at the free throw line and the rest of the team so he can have a chance at winning. Meanwhile Westbrook single handedly beat the Jazz with 38 10 10 and LeFraud couldn’t. It’s mind boggling how pampered this dude is, isn’t he the “GOAT”?

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    • CursedRangers

      Many of the same thoughts I had when reading this. He is a great player and extremely fun to watch. But holy smokes he sure whines about everything. I’m respect Duncan more and more every time LB gripes. Duncan just suited up and played ball. No excuses just a competitive sob

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      • Dionis

        How’s Lebron fun to watch? All he does is dunk and run fast. His jumper Is really awkward, he has no lateral movement, finesse, footwork, he’s a little kid in a grown man’s body.

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        • jkbuckets

          A little kid who is already the best small forward of all time…and he’s only 32. Don’t even like lebron that much. Just appreciate and admire greatness

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          • Dionis

            Lebron is not better then Bird, all Lebron has is athleticism over him that’s it. He’s not a better scorer, shooter, rebounder, or passer. Plus bird was more physical and way more mentally tough.

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            • jkbuckets

              Idk. That’s hard to say. Birds back kept him out of a couple more quality seasons. But what lebron did in the finals last year you have to respect he put his team on his back and was the best player on the court. He’ll retire a legend Im saying this as a bulls fan we hate him here

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              • Dionis

                Dude did you even watch Game 5-7? Kyrie scored when it mattered and if Kyrie doesn’t show out game 7 the Cavs lose simple. Kyrie Irving spear headed that comeback last year not Lebron, don’t forget the refs called the games in favor of the Cavs once Dray got suspended.

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                • jkbuckets

                  Did u even watch it. Omg lebron was another animal in the finals. Kyrie is the closer on the team that’s what he does. Lebron was amazing. He’ll go down as a top 5 player of all time

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                  • jkbuckets

                    Though I’m sure you’ll find a way disagree just cuz ur a hater. Appreciate greatness. Life’s to short to hate

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            • Bird is obviously a better scorer than LeBron, but not even close to being as good as a passer.

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            • Nasty Nate

              You spent your whole day hating on lebron lol. He must be doing something right

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    • DarkGhost

      Self centered loser huh. 3 rings, 3 finals mvps, 4 regular season mvps, has made the playoffs over a decade straight, and has never had a first round exit in the playoffs. Also he is going to end up too 5 in scoring and too 10 in assists all time. If he is a self centered loser then what the hell is 99 percent of the recent if the players that have played in NBA history.

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  4. Connorsoxfan

    Boston should ship out Rozier for that 2021 pick. It’s far enough away that it could actually be decent.

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    • Connorsoxfan

      They probably have to send back salary, but that’s a basic framework.

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  5. GoPackGo12

    They lost to the Pelicans without AD. You give up 124 and 30 points to Jrue Holiday and Terrance Jones….you waist a 49pt performance out of Irving, 22-16 out of Love and a triple double from Lebron. No, you don’t need a playmaker you need something called defense.

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      • JOSH D CONRAD

        Perfect response! They average 115 ppg. They shouldn’t be getting outscored. Their defense is the main problem and it starts with Bron’s laziness and whining. He wants to lead by example, we’ll that’s why they’re losing. I’m a Cleveland fan, born and raised here. Bron just needs to shut up and play ball. Hoping we go back to back.

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    • Dionis

      But isn’t Lebron the “GOAT”? He shouldn’t be struggling right now, he’s playing with two all star level talents if not superstar talents and he’s complaining? Who’s Westbrook playing with? Do you hear him complaining? Harden? No all stars and do hear him complaining? No

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      • No one has called LeBron the goat. Everyone knows that Jordan is. You must be still salty that he left your favorite team (the Heat) or that he didn’t choose your favorite team.

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        • Dionis

          I am not salty at all, and yes their are millions of brainwashed fans who really do think he is the GOAT, Curry,Leonard,Durant,Harden,Westbrook, and Davis are all better then Lebron.

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  6. Z-A

    Okay people. We didn’t hear about past greats complaining about who they played with because we live in an age where everyone has a cell phone and social media account down to 2 Year-Olds. More access, more media, means more said by players. So stop with the Jordan ish.

    What is happening with Hinrich, Jack, Cole, and Chalmers? The Cavs can open up an additional spot by sending Chris Anderson + a 2nd to the Sixers and grab two back-up guards or a guard and a forward.

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    • Dionis

      Do you know what Jordan did when his team didn’t step up? He never cried about needing more help NEVER, in his time they had press conferences and he never cried about anything like Lebron. He made everyone on his team winners, he constantly got on Cartwright, Grant, Pippen, etc. Look up the documentary, Jordan didn’t rely on anyone he LEAD and just balled. Lebron is playing with 2 all star caliber talents if not superstar caliber who can go off for 30-40 on any given night. Please give Leonard Kyrie Irving alone and watch him fill his hand with rings.

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      • Pihc123

        You young fans crack me up. I clearly remember Jordan being a big baby about who was going and staying. He also said he’s quit and play baseball if he didn’t get his way. And Kobe? He cried from day one until the last day. Taking how many millions per year on the way out when he clearly didn’t have enough to play mop up duty off the bench.

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        • Dionis

          Dude Michael Jordan is not only the greatest basketball player of all time but the greatest professional athlete in any sport.

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  7. orioles101_milller

    This is some Bull Shheeeeeeh. The cavs have the second most talented roster in the NBA Westbrook is the only allstar grade player on the thunder do u hear him complaining. Same with harden

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  8. InvalidUserID

    Isn’t he a forward and not a GM? If the GM had any balls, he’d tell LeBron to focus on the game and not his team. And didn’t LeBron say last time that he wasn’t going to talk about this again?

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    • Dionis

      Lebron is garbage dude, he’s a product of the media. Who do you ever hear say ” hey did you see King james last night?” Who models their game after that scrub? No one. He does nothing extraordinary, he’s not the best at anything in the NBA, he’s not the best shooter, not the best passer, not the best rebounder, not the best leader, he’s the best whiner and stat padder that’s it.

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      • Yankee4Life27

        I second that… He travels 99% of the time, runs opponents over but get the calls his way, flops and only plays on teams with at least 2 other superstars…

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      • DarkGhost

        First of all nobody ever modes their game after him because nobody else is 6’8″ 240 strong as a bull album also runs like a lion. He always plays with superstars did you watch him his first go around with Cleveland? When he carried a team full of nobody’s to the finals. So now that he has good teammates he should get punished for that. Jordan played with Pippen and Rodman, Kobe played with Shaq, Gasol, and Bynum. Malone played with Stockton, and Magic played with James Worthy and Kareem. Every all time great player has had all time great teammates. Your just a Lebron hatter that has zero objectivity.

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        • Dionis

          I am not even going to go back and forth with you Lebrontards. I could go on all day about why he won’t be top 5 all time, but whats the point? Half of you don’t even watch games or see that the NBA is trying desperately hard to get him more titles. He could finish number 1 in scoring,rebounds, and assits and get 6 rings he still won’t be better then Kobe,Michael, Bird, Magic, Kareem,Duncan, Olajuwon,Shaq, Chamberlain, or Russell to me.

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          • DarkGhost

            Because you have zero objectivity about lebron that’s why you hate him. If you actually watch the games like you claim to then you would recognize his greatness but obviously you don’t.

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  9. Yankee4Life27

    I’m sure LeBron would love to have Westbrook and Cousins…

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  10. Half the people bashing LeBron are either salty Heat fans who are still mad he left or some other team’s fans who are mad he didn’t choose them. Get over it. You sound like a bunch of little kids complaining that mommy and daddy didn’t buy you a toy. There are retired and current players who rave about LeBron, but I’m sure us couch coaches know more than guys who ACTUALLY PLAYED. I’m sure your extensive playtime of NBA 2k makes you experts when it comes to basketball.

    Everyone knows he’s not going to be the GOAT. Its also unfair and quite honestly idiotic to compare LeBron to players from the 80s and 90s when you’re talking guys who played different positions, with different skillsets, different media coverage, and an overall different league-wide playstyle. Honestly, the only player comparable to LeBron is Magic because their skillsets and sizes are similar. LeBron is just automatically compared to MJ because sports media called him the “Next Great One” or the “Next Michael Jordan”.

    And yes, I completely admit that LeBron whines a bit too much. I admit that LeBron flops and travels (just like every other player in the league). I’m a Pacers fan, and would like nothing more than to see the Cavs and LeBron fail. But I’m not a delusional fan and can admit when there is a player who is a generational talent. If you can’t admit that, then you’re still stuck in the 20th century or you’re letting your zealous bias just completely prevent you from actually enjoying the game.

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    • What would he be without Miami, since you seem to constantly shade us. It was understood he’d eventually go back to Cleveland but Wade’s knees and Kyrie’s growth accelerated the process. As a heat fan what reason would I have to cheer for him?

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      • I don’t mean to throw shade on all Miami fans, as I know Heat fans that hate his guts and Heat fans that couldn’t care about him or still cheer for him. Nor am I claiming you, or anyone, has to cheer for him. But LeBron has been tied to a stigma and dislike when he left Cleveland because of The Decision (which I agree was a terrible and unneccessary media coverage). I honestly can’t remember much hate for LeBron pre-Decision so I think its natural to assume that the hate for him is still tied to that. But to constantly bash the guy for little petty things is just childish at this point.

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  11. Spurskid

    Heat, cavs trade scenario
    Heat get:
    kevin love
    Channing frye
    Richard jefferson
    Cavs get:
    hussan whiteside
    Rodney McGruder
    Josh mcroberts

    Heat will get another scorer in love and rebounder channing frye is still a legit spot up shooter!!!! that can spread the floor and jefferson well????? he will get what it is they trying to do in Cleveland…no disrespect to richard jefferson but he should’ve just call it quits when he won a ring he hasn’t been consistent and he is a little slower…the game has change a uptempo fast pace…

    Cavs get a defensive stopper in whiteside that can score in the post quick with his feet!…. Rodney mcgrudar he is a solid backup prospect under kyrie he will be a solid scorer and eventually the game wi slow down as he progresses…and for mcroberts he can cheer on the sideline for lebron jk he is still a good not great shooter id like to see slash to the basket from mcroberts but time lebron will make him work guarantee!!!!

    Thoughts…

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    • Dionis

      Kevin Love alone equals Whiteside and that package you built. The dude is being severely underrated on that Cavs team.

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  12. That was quite possibly the dumbest argument to cheer for him ever. Never said he wasn’t great. I actually have a team. I appreciate his ability to pick teammates and excel with the right talent around him.

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  13. ReasonableBB

    Yes there are a lot of Jordan lovers out there. And yes he was the best so far. But let’s be real who did Jordan have to defend him? The best defender in his day was on his team. I think Jordan would have a much tougher time today then back then. He’d still be great but it would be tougher. Now a lot of people argue that yesteryear was much tougher. It may have been rougher but that does make it tougher. There’s way more talent today in general than back then. It’s a more athletic league now. Don’t get me wrong, Jordan was the best, but there are many right there with him. He was fortunate to play on great teams. Lebrons complaint is if their going to compete with a team like GS then changes are going to have to be made. GS made bold moves to accommodate Durant, and Cavs won last year with help from a lot of senarios. What GS did would be like the Cavs aquiring Anthony Davis. The Cavs can’t expect to compete unless they make some bold moves as well. KLove disappears in the finals, look at the records. He’s asking for contributors not pilyons. Time to trade love while he has good value. Love for Melo. Melo would be better with the Cavs. Get Rondo who’s still a great playmaker and brings competive Fire. Also pick up Willie Stein, a rim protecting big and rebounder. In the mean time all the Cavs players need to start playing like champions, from the front. They gave the last two games away.

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    • Dionis

      Dude Michael Jordan won a ring for his father and anchored a 72-10 team while at it. You sitting here telling me that a man who won 6 rings, 10 scoring titles, slam dunk titles and was the definition of clutch is not better then that bum Lebron. Michael Jordan is the greatest professional athlete of all time stop the disrespect. Lebron already lost 4 times in the Finals and will have more losses in. The future he does not come close in any aspect of the game besides probably rebounding.

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  14. Djones246890

    Lebron proving what a weak little snowflake he is. How about YOU be the playmaker, Mr. “Superstar.”

    I swear, you would never hear Michael Jordan say what he said.

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    • He’s literally asking for the team to acquire a backup PG who can help distribute the ball. Outside of Kyrie, LeBron, and K-Love, there aren’t any real proven playmakers. Granted that should be enough, but it would definitely help ease the load on the Cavs big 3 to produce for probably 60-75% of the team’s offense.

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  15. scotts

    Melo to the Cavs?

    Cavs get Melo
    Celtics get Love
    Knicks get Amir Johnson, Smart, Brown, a future 1st round pick(not one of the Nets picks).

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    • This was floated by Boston to the Knicks. In that case, why would the Knicks not just take Love, rather than Boston’s garbage.

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  16. LGBT Raven Lover

    I think I can read between the lines…he wants the Cavs to sign ALL of the following – Marbury, Shawn Kemp, and Tim Hardaway (Sr. not Jr.). Then also trade for Rondo. Maybe Kyrie for Rondo.

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  17. Richard

    Dionis, you not only have done your homework but you present your argument in an intelligent and objective manner. Kudos! Only those with eyes to see will see! Nevertheless, great job!!!

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