Four-time MVP LeBron James is concerned with the Cavaliers’ offseason moves, or lack thereof, a source tells Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. According to Zillgitt, the team’s decision to part with its top two front office executives right before free agency left James “frustrated and concerned” about the Cavs’ ability to build a roster capable of beating the Warriors.
While the Cavaliers were linked to big-name trade targets such as Paul George and Jimmy Butler, those players ultimately ended up being sent elsewhere. Instead, Cleveland has made modest moves to attempt to fortify its bench. Jose Calderon and Jeff Green were signed to minimum salary contracts, and part of the taxpayer MLE was used on Cedi Osman, though the 22-year-old is unlikely to have a major impact in Cleveland this season.
While James is realistic about the Cavaliers’ cap- and tax-related limitations, he wonders why the club entered the offseason “without veteran front-office execs in place to execute complicated moves,” writes Zillgitt.
According to Zillgitt, the Cavs appeared to be getting close to a deal for Butler before owner Dan Gilbert decided to part ways with GM David Griffin and VP of basketball operations Trent Redden. Having been unable to secure top GM candidate Chauncey Billups, Gilbert continues to evaluate the club’s front office structure, with assistant GM Koby Altman running the show for now.
There’s still time this offseason for the Cavs to make roster additions, and it’s possible the team’s minor moves to date will turn out better than expected. However, team ownership and management will certainly need to take LeBron’s concerns seriously, since he’s eligible for free agency in 2018, and a return to Cleveland isn’t considered a lock.