Central Notes: James, Jefferson, Stephenson, Wade

LeBron James‘ future in Cleveland could be tied to the Brooklyn Nets’ performance this season, writes Harvey Araton of The New York Times. The value of the Nets’ unprotected first-rounder that the Cavaliers received in the Kyrie Irving trade won’t be known until much later in the season. If Brooklyn finishes last in the league again, the Cavs will have a 25% shot at the number one selection and their choice of players such as Michael Porter Jr., Luka Doncic and Marvin Bagley.

Although rumors have been persistent that James will be headed to the Lakers next summer, Araton speculates that scenario might change if the Cavaliers are in position to add another franchise player. If Isaiah Thomas returns to All-Star form after his hip injury, Jae Crowder improves the perimeter defense and James returns to the Finals for the eighth straight year, he might have a difficult time saying good-bye to Cleveland.

There’s more news from the Central Division:

  • Pacers center Al Jefferson lost a significant amount of weight in preparation for his second season in Indiana, relays Scott Agness of VigilantSports. The 32-year-old opted for a vegetarian diet after posting his worst season in more than a decade, averaging 8.1 points and 4.2 rebounds in 66 games. “He looks incredible, man,” said teammate Myles Turner“I think he’s dropped 40 pounds. When you see him you’ll see [how] he’s really trimmed down a lot. He’s moving well, he’s running the floor.”
  • The Pacers are counting on youthful energy to carry them through the season after most of the organization’s veteran presence was lost over the summer, relays Mark Montieth of NBA.com. In addition to Paul George, who was traded to Oklahoma City, Indiana cut ties with Jeff TeagueRodney Stuckey, Monta Ellis, Aaron Brooks and Lavoy Allen. “Everybody wants to talk about the whole Paul thing, but we’ve blocked all that out,” said Glenn Robinson III. “We’re looked at as an underdog team, but we’re coming in very hungry. I’m excited for this team. It seems we all have our minds in a great place and are ready to get better.”
  • Lance Stephenson, who returned to the Pacers in March, will be used as a sixth man, Montieth adds in the same piece.
  • Bulls vice president John Paxson and GM Gar Forman will meet with Dwyane Wade when he returns to Chicago to discuss his future with the team and a possible buyout, according to CSN Chicago. Paxson insists he and Forman were honest about their plans for the offseason during Wade’s exit meeting after the playoffs.

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11 thoughts on “Central Notes: James, Jefferson, Stephenson, Wade

  1. Dionis

    If the Cavs can get Doncic Lebron would have absolutely no reason to leave, the Nets will win 30-35 games so that pick might fall in the 4-5 range. That will land you Bamba,Ayton, or Bridges.

      • Pihc123

        “Bron-Bron” juice? 8 consecutive finals appearance is some juice. I’ll take that pick and James doing 9 consecutive trips to the NBA finals. Have fun with the rebuild in ChiTown.

        • ChiSoxCity

          You must be seriously delusional if you think LeBron has any intention of staying in Cleveland.

          • cahern13

            Keep believing all the LA hype just like everyone else. Just another media driven narrative just like when it was a “sure” deal Lebron was going to New York or Chicago in 2010

    • x%sure

      @dionis – Yes past that ‘big 3’ are some fine centers.

      It will be hard to guage the worth of that pick because Brooklyn will probably be best late in the year. If Marc Gasol or Cousins is available in February– tough choice!

      • Dionis

        I don’t see Marc or Demarcus going anywhere, Altman is not stupid. You can’t trust Lebron to stay and give up a valuable pick to acquire another star and have Lebron leave. Now if this was a 27-28 year old Lebron move it by all means but Lebron James is not worth blowing the bank for any longer, he has slipped defensively and does not seem to want to carry a team on his shoulder till he’s 37-38. Just play the year out and if he loses let him go to the Lakers, if the Cavs can get Doncic they should not care where Lebron goes. This kid Doncic is going to be the best in the league in 3 years.

        • Lol lets settle down about Doncic. I think he’ll be good but lets wait to see him actually play in the NBA before we anoint him the best player in the league before he even has an NBA contract. KD will 31-32 in three years so he should still be very good. Honestly the next “best in the league” guy might be KAT if he can become an above-average defender. He’s got a lot of developing to do there but he’s on the border of becoming a superstar.

          • Dionis

            Towns might be the superstar of the 2020’s but Doncic can be better. He is a 6’8 guard who’s best asset is his jumpshot, he can play off the ball,create his own shot, and shown he can hold his own against NBA level competition(Porzingis,Westbrook).

  2. SD Speak For Myself

    Dopey Dilbert deserves Cousins….Cousins will cuss him out during a game…beautiful.

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