Atlantic Notes: James, Celtics, Pre-Draft Workouts

Rumors are swirling that LeBron James will look to leave Cleveland for a second time after next season and potentially head out west. If he is not on the Cavaliers after 2017/18, James’ departure would have a domino effect across the league. A. Sherrod Blakely joined Mike Felger and Gary Tanguay at CSN New England to discuss Celtics general manager Danny Ainge‘s potential moves if James heads out West and weakens the Eastern Conference.

Blakely believes that no matter James’ future, Ainge should not focus on what’s going around the league, focusing instead on his own team. The Celtics have the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft and are coming off a year where they were the first seed in the East. The Celtics have their own issues to address, including the impending free agency of Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, and others.

In any case, the Celtics are in the best position of any Eastern Conference team to unseat the Cavaliers as the class of division and a James departure after next season only strengthens that.

Here are other notes from around the Atlantic Division:

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10 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: James, Celtics, Pre-Draft Workouts

  1. Flipjunior89

    Does it really matter what team he goes to, he will have an allstar team anywhere smh

  2. KCelts

    Not really sure why LeBron would go west. I mean he may be want to play with Chris Paul and Melo, but he wouldn’t win out west against the likes of Golden State.

    • He said the Warriors will be good for years. The Cavs are well over the salary cap and it will be hard for them to make moved for a couple years unless they can unload Tristen, Shumpert to clear up roughly 30 million. Of course you can trade Love and clear up roughly 23 million also. The question becomes is what would the return be. For Shump you would have to probably throw in a 1st rounder but you cant trade 1st rounders in back to back years. So that would end up being 2021 first round pick. Its a complicated process.

      Say he does go out west. To say the Clippers. Paul could either opt in this year or take somewhat of a discount on a new contract. Blake leaves as a FA, along with JJ Reddick. Melo, LeBron, Wade are all FA next year. Wade is no longer a 20 mil a year player so maybe he signs for 15. If Melo truly wants to play with those guys and have a chance of a Championship, even if small he could sign for around 20mil. Paul and LBJ could sign for around 25-30 mil depending on cap. Then you still have enough room for De Andre to control the paint and rebound.

      Now that is alot to ask. LBJ said he wanted those Banana Boat guys to all play together. Next year will be the perfect opportunity. Lot to ask but it is not impossible. Time will tell

      • KnicksCavsFan

        That’s not true. Trading Shump, Tristan or Love wouldn’t necessarily clear up cap space. NBA trade require you to take back similar salary as well. The only thing the Cavs can do is trade a player with more years left on his contract for a player who makes the same salary (give or take a mil or two) who is in the last year of his contract. At the end of the year you let him walk and thus you create cap space for the following year.

        ex Player “A” is owed 2/$20mil w/ an average of $10 mil taking up the cap space in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. Find a player who makes about $10 mil who is on his last year. Trade player “A” (2 years left on his contract) for player “B” (1 year left on his contract, has a similar salary as Player A”. Let the player walk and now you have $10 mil of cap space for the 2018-2019 season.

        • Luke Adams

          For what it’s worth, salaries only have to match if BOTH teams will be over the cap after the deal. If the Cavs found a trade partner with cap room to absorb someone like Shumpert or Thompson, they wouldn’t have to take any salary back.

          • KnicksCavsFan

            I’m not sure about that. I think the variance is what percentage on top of the incoming salary can be absorbed. Like the over-cap team has to absorb the outgoing plus $100k but the under-cap team can absorb up to 150% or $5 mil above the incoming depending on the amount. I’m not 100% sure but I don’t think one team can trade $25 mil to a team with $25 mil of cap space and take back zero salary

    • toby312

      It’s the only way for him to get another ring is to team up with stars like he did with heat! He’s on the back nine of his hall of fame career and his wasn’t even best player on floor in his latest loss in finals, Durant was

      • KnicksCavsFan

        Lebron was the best player in the finals.

        LBJ averaged 34 pts/12 rebounds/10 assists on 56% and 39% 3pt.

        Durant averaged 35 pts/8 rebounds/5 assists on 55% and 47% 3 pt.

        LBJ and KD scored relatively the same amount of points but LBJ averaged 4 more rebounds and 5 more assists per game. LBJ also carried the bulk of the scoring, the bulk of the rebounding and the burden of creating shots for his team. KD had the freedom of NOT having to do all of those things. In fact LBJ led both teams in average and total rebounds and assists and fell short of leading both teams in total point by 8 (behind Durant) and avg points per game (1.6 less than Durant). He was the best player in the game and Durant was a very, very close second.

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