Ownership has told the Cavs’ front office that it can increase payroll this season, a source tells Sam Amico of Amico Hoops (Twitter link). Cleveland currently has the highest payroll in league history, even after shipping Chris Andersen to the Hornets.
Amico adds that Cleveland is in trades discussions with several other teams, but he did not provide specifics. The Cavs are expected to be without Kevin Love for the next six weeks, so the team could consider adding a big man, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors wrote earlier today.
LeBron James was critical of the team’s ownership earlier this season and at the time, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that the tension between the two sides was a result of the different viewpoints on team spending.
Part of the reason James returned to Cleveland in 2014 was the Cavs’ willingness to spend on talent, regardless of luxury tax repercussions, and owner Dan Gilbert reportedly agreed not to limit the team’s spending when James put pen to paper.
The Cavs currently have nearly $126.6MM in contracts on the books this season, as our Salary Cap Snapshot for the Cavs shows. That figure is roughly $13.4MM over the luxury tax line and the team is projected to pay slightly under $24.8MM in luxury tax penalties.