Cavaliers Notes: James, Gilbert, Trade Market, Love

The root of the Cavaliers’ problems lies in an adversarial relationship between LeBron James and owner Dan Gilbert, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN. James has grown frustrated while watching star players change teams over the last eight months, with none of them coming to Cleveland. Cavs management counters that it lost $18MM last season because it paid $25MM in luxury taxes and points out that its bargaining position would be much stronger if James would commit to the franchise beyond this season.

Gilbert went through a difficult rebuilding process when James left Cleveland for Miami in 2010 and doesn’t want to repeat that experience. The team could announce to the league that Brooklyn’s unprotected first-rounder is available if James agrees to re-sign, but he is committed to keeping his options open. Meanwhile, the relationship between James and Gilbert is getting worse, and it’s showing up in the Cavaliers’ performance on the court.

There’s more today out of Cleveland:

  • None of the players currently available on the trade market could turn things around in Cleveland, contends Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan would provide a much-needed defensive presence in the middle, but Lloyd doesn’t see him as a franchise player. Kings guard George Hill, whom the Cavaliers have also been linked to, would barely move the needle in the playoff race. Cleveland missed opportunities at major deals when Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Carmelo Anthony and others wound up elsewhere, and Lloyd believes it’s probably too late to save this season. After Saturday’s loss, James refused to comment on possible roster moves. “That’s not a question for me,” he said. “I show up to work every day. I bust my tail every day. I’m one of the first ones to get to the gym and I’m one of the last ones to leave. I do my part. I control what I can control and that is what I can control.”
  • The Cavs are suffering from a lack of locker-room leadership, Lloyd adds in the same story. In the past, that was provided by James Jones, Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, but Jones retired, Jefferson was traded and Frye has lost influence as his playing time decreased.
  • Kevin Love plans to remain as active as possible while he’s sidelined for eight weeks with a broken bone in his left hand, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. “Obviously I can’t use my left arm as much as I would like to but I’ll still be able to do some ball handling on the court and be dominant with my right hand quite a bit, but keep my legs underneath me for when I do get back,” he said. “It will be very meaningful to get back as quickly as I can. … I’m not rushing it but when the doctors say I’m good to go I’ll be able to get out there.”
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50 thoughts on “Cavaliers Notes: James, Gilbert, Trade Market, Love

  1. KnicksCavsFan

    If this report is accurate then LBJ is a fool. Gilbert has shown consistently, both stints with LBJ, that he’s willing to pay to make the team the best possible. LBJ has handcuffed him along the way by proxy of his agent Rich Paul by pressuring the team to overpay and compete against themselves intruder to bring back Tristan Thompson and JR Smith. They both held out until training camp neared or got under way and LBJ verbally made it clear that the team should lock the players up and giver in to the demands. He’s also failed to commit to the team pay this season thus discouraging the team to make the Brooklyn pick available.

    He is part of the current problem and despite all the amazing things he’s done on and off the court THAT will be what I remember about him should this team fail to return to the finals and he walks

      • KnicksCavsFan

        A GM is an employee that serves at the pleasure of the team owner not the player. I’m all for players having more bargaining power but it’s getting ridiculous when players try to dictate front office personnel. We are not privy to the relationship Gilbert and Griffin had.

  2. Djones246890

    The problem is LBJ. He’s like a petulant child that doesn’t understand business, and just pressures the team into signing whoever he wants — essentially, at extortion level.

    Cleveland has done everything possible, in order to accommodate this guy. I mean, that team is basically like an NBA hostel…..new faces constantly coming and going, because Queen James, in one of his emotional tantrums, decided he wanted a new “toy.”

    A true leader makes it works with the pieces he has. Sure, he might ask for a piece here and there, but not at the level LBJ does. He also is a divisive/cliquey locker room guy. That isn’t what a leader does. A leader brings everyone together and builds team chemistry. LBJ also doesn’t know how to take accountability for his actions.

    These new guys never turn out to be happy, because you can’t just cram a bunch of superstars on one team, and expect them to all work together and be happy with reduced roles, and especially when they’re “leader” is a divisive child.

    These guys have tremendous egos, and playing roles that they’re used to. That’s the reason it never works, and is never going to work.

    LBJ also needs to realize that he is getting older, and from here on out, he’s going to see a rapid decline in performance. Hopefully, Cleveland sees this, as well, and stops catering to this child.

    LBJ just doesn’t understand the business or psychological side of the game, and it’s like giving a 12 year old complete control of the team.

    Lebron’s career is in its twilight, and this team is old, and on life support. If Gilbert truly wants what is best for the franchise, he wold move on from this drama Queen.

    • 101reklaw

      Well written piece sir, and I agree. If LBJ won’t commit, so be it. He handcuffs the team. If LBJ leaves, so be it. He helped us to a championship, but may be time to move on. So as much as I hated him leaving for Miami, I really won’t be very upset this time. I truly believe he is more of the problem than the solution.

    • KnicksCavsFan

      I can agree with everything you said except the disparaging way you refer to LBJ as a queen. On and off the court he’s carried himself better than most of the NBA top all-time greats aside from Bird, Russell and Kareem.

  3. julyn82001

    If LBJ is all drama and bad influence then why in the world they brought him back to Cleveland???

    • Thomas Swanson

      Gilbert was making money then. He had Kyrie, but LeBron chased him out of town. Gilbert lost $18 million last year, likely more this season. LeBron would command a kings ransom to resign him along with the others. Gilbert is in the business to make money. He has others to pay. Go get someone who wants to play in Cleveland and not destroy the business in doing it. His senior citizens group will be gone next season. He may not like it. He’s not in charge any more.

      • moazetongue

        LBJ did NOT chase Kyrie our of the building. Kyrie and his ego was the culprit. Add Kyrie’s stupidity to that mix as well. I’m wondering if the balls in Boston are round or flat.

    • KnicksCavsFan

      Because he’s the greatest player in the game and both him and Gilbert had the same objective….. To bring s title top Cleveland and go Doreen in history as the owner and player that did it.

  4. acarneglia

    LeBron isn’t the one who offers guys more money than they deserve, it’s ownership/management.

    • joemoes

      He refused to resign until tristan thompson signed and Tristan Thompson was demanding max money for a rookie at the time

      • Thomas Swanson

        Gilbert brought these guys in to try to get LeBron to stay. When you’re losing games and money, it’s not worth it.

    • KnicksCavsFan

      LBJ made it clear he wanted the team to go all out to bring back both Thompson and Smith, both of whom are signed to Rich Paul, LBJs close friend and agent. LBJ purposely, and to his credit, smartly, signs small short-term contracts where he gets max dollars and keeps the team fearful that he’ll leave them again if they don’t appease his desire to keep “his guys” on the team. I do think tho thirst he actually had faith that Tristan and JR would continue to be valuable Takata ergo would earn their pay. I don’t think he would object to either of them being moved if it meant bringing in better talent now.

  5. TPerks

    James has been the biggest problem when it comes to defense. However, I don’t like how the media makes it sound like it’s the front office’s fault that we didn’t get George, Anthony, or Butler. We had a deal done for George but it was Indiana that backed out. Not the Cavs fault.

    • DVail1979

      Best thing that could have happens to Paul George and the worst than could have happened to Kevin Love

    • Z-A

      He plays the most minutes in the NBA to keep these guys in games. Someone else can D up.

  6. imindless
    imindless

    Cant blame cavs for not trading pick. F lebron james, they could trade pick and he still wont resign.

  7. joemoes

    If he agreed to stay they could clear out salary with that pick and retool the team next year.

    • Thomas Swanson

      I’ve been saying for some time, and today’s Cleveland.com eluded to, if LeBron would let them know if he’s staying or going like Paul George did, it could save a lot of problems. He won’t. Kyrie told Jimmy Butler not to come to Cavs because they have a mess. Yup!

  8. irhene

    Wow, people don’t understand business. James is looking out for himself, rightfully so because owners don’t care a hoot about players feelings. Look what happened to Blake Griffin. James don’t have commit to an owner. What kind of nonsense is that.

    • Thomas Swanson

      Go back and watch LeBron’s video when he announced he was going to Miami, and see Gilbert and fans reaction. If Gilbert thinks LeBron is more of a headache than a help, he can let him walk. IT’S GILBERT’S MONEY. HE WANTS TO RUN HIS BUSINESS FOR A PROFIT!

    • ChiSoxCity

      James doesn’t understand jack. He’s just a selfish ass prima dona. No other team spends as much as the Cavs do on salary. He is a complete joke.

  9. omar jimenez

    LeBron got the coach and players and GM he wanted. Now they’re not winnining and no defense. I blame Cleveland for enabling him. LBJ has been doing this in Cleveland for a long time now. In Miami, Riles ran things. You give a whiny child, fancy toys and he doesn’t appreciate it. LBJ needs to play and lead and let the team do what they can. He’s not committed due to all the BS he put then through. Though pill to swallow but that’s what happened. He bails with the mess he left. I say soft reset and LBJ stays or goes (Houston).

    • moazetongue

      You forgot to add that Cleveland won a ship a little over a year ago. Plus IF James got the GM he wanted, how come Griffin was here in Cleveland LONG before James thought about coming back To Cleveland? Hmmmmmm? Also it wasn’t James that fired Griff. He certainly didn’t want Altman.

    • Thomas Swanson

      LOL, but it’s the only way the Cavs would get there! LeBron would have to leave though. Kyrie won’t play with him!

  10. Thomas Swanson

    Like yesterday’s article says the Cavs are -7 when LeBron is on floor. Whether or not it’s his fault (he is the ball dominator, a recent article said the other guys are standing around, this is what is meant by the guys quitting on him) this means they have to change, and that means LeBron too.
    If Gilbert doesn’t make the trades he wants, it’s his fault, he won’t sign extension or tell them his plans. Gilbert doesn’t have to pay him a dime.

  11. bennyg

    Perhaps Cavs front office should offer LBJ to be traded. Send him to where he wants to go.

  12. blakeh11

    If Lebron wants to truly win he needs to take a pay cut. He makes enough off his clothing and shoes to be just fine and has already made plenty in his career. All the good players take cuts at the ends of their careers to win look at guys like Peyton Manning and not that the Mavs are winning right now but Dirk did the same. Be a team player not selfish. You greedy Lebron.

  13. Z-A

    Prob did not help that Kyrie was sabotaging the offseason telling guys not to come.

    • Thomas Swanson

      Jimmy Butler and Kyrie are good friends. Him telling the Cavs had a mess wasn’t a lie! I’m sure Kyrie is glad he made the right decision. He didn’t want to get dumped on again like the last time LeBron left.

      • moazetongue

        The mess was flat earth Kyrie. Talk about a gutless and selfish snob Kyrie was to tell the owner trade me or I’ll sit for two years.

        • Thomas Swanson

          The mess was the selfish LeBron chasing him out of town and not telling Gilbert if he intended to stay so Gilbert could plan for a post LeBron and avoid a repeat of last time. LeBron only cares about LeBron and Kyrie knew that. Now he’s proving it to everyone else.

  14. x%sure

    No shortage of low-class, half-true comments on this article, by anti-employee and anti-humanitarian tools. “He should know his place”. On Cleveland sites, the racists are coming out.

    Every roster has a few overpaid players. Some are underpaid. Why be mad at James? And nobody has an obligation to announce plans beyond their contract. As an expectation, it is a bad precedent for workers.
    Owner Gilbert used the opportunity of trading Irving to hang a hammer over LJ’s head, announcing the Nets pick as such, instead of getting talent. Gilbert’s choice, or his stand-in’s. LJ did not make that trade, did not get any favors this year, owes nobody anything beyond his contract and nobody else should either.
    It is such an infantile complaint, that he has made no announcement about future plans– especially since he has! I guess the assumption is he’s lying, or could lie? Then why demand an announcement if you’re not going to believe it? He should leave of course– he’s getting anything but support.

  15. Thomas Swanson

    Please read today’s Joe Vardon article about the Cavs money problems. It says the same thing as me.
    MAKE SURE AND READ TODAY’S ARTICLE ON THIS SITE ON CAVS.
    If you feel energetic, you can look up the Cavs reference on Hoops Hype today. I thought of you and laughed my tail off. Like I said you in LeBron’s camp won’t admit LeBron is 1 % of the problem. It doesn’t matter. Gilbert will lay the law down to LeBron and you can say whatever you like. I support Gilbert. Today’s articles made me feel so good. They said LeBron definitely doesn’t care about Gilbert’s money.
    Gilbert does. Hahahaha!! Where have you heard that before?

  16. akaydn

    LeBron is immensely talented, but the one constant that seems to come up throughout his career is that his teams need veteran leadership. Is it unreasonable to say that someone mentioned in the conversation as one of the greatest to play should be able to exercise some locker room leadership? It seems like LeBron has no problem being vocal but instead of leading the team to be unselfish and deal with adversity he’s showing them how to sulk and pout when things don’t go your way.

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