Central Notes: Stephenson, Love, Polinsky, Evans

The Pacers offered a better contract to swingman Lance Stephenson than he received from the Lakers, Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said on Friday (Twitter link via Mark Monteith). Stephenson agreed to a one-year, $4.5MM deal from the Lakers. A phone call from LeBron James influenced Stephenson’s decision to choose L.A., Monteith adds. However, the Pacers declined Stephenson’s team option of $4.36MM prior to free agency, so it seems odd Pritchard then turned around and offered more in the open market.

In other news around the Central Division:

  • The Cavs don’t plan on tanking or trading their top remaining player Kevin Love, Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. GM Koby Altman said he’s intent on keeping the team competitive despite the loss of LeBron James“Kevin is an All-Star and you don’t get better by moving Kevin,” Altman said. “Kevin’s been incredible for us for four years and he wants to be here, and to me that’s a big part for guys that are here and the guys that we’re gonna acquire, is that they want to be here and be a part of this new chapter and culture that we’re creating.”
  • The Pistons have hired Nets executive Gregg Polinsky as their director of player personnel, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Pistons senior advisor Ed Stefanski and Polinsky worked together in Brooklyn, Wojnarowski adds. Polinsky had the same title with the Nets but his role will expand in Detroit. Pat Garrity and Andrew Loomis, who were assistant GMs under former team president Stan Van Gundy, will continue in their roles, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News. The Pistons could bring in another assistant GM to focus on analytics, Beard adds.
  • Tyreke Evans is content with coming off the bench for the Pacers, Monteith writes for the team’s website. Evans joined the Pacers on a one-year, $12MM deal. Pritchard didn’t have to coax Evans into being a sixth man. “Not one bit,” he said. “We told him, ‘Here’s your role, does that interest you?’ He said, ‘Yes, I’m in.’ I think in his mind he’s going, ‘Boy, I’ve been scoring a lot of points and doing a lot of good stuff against starters, this is going to be fun.'”
  • Tim Grgurich is likely to join Dwane Casey’s coaching staff with the Pistons, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press tweets. Grgurich, 76, has a long career as an NBA assistant and most recently was a consultant with the Bucks.
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92 thoughts on “Central Notes: Stephenson, Love, Polinsky, Evans

  1. all in ad

    Pacers won’t miss lance. McBuckets is far greater need. Evans will play lockdown defense when needed. Lance and LaVar…..that is juicy.

    • bravesfan88

      I’m betting that romance ends in a Big Baller Brand sponsored boxing match between Lance and Lavar..lol..

      Actually, that isn’t a bad idea, I’m pretty sure quite a few people would pay to see both guys get punched in the face!!

      Just remember, you heard it here first!! I want creative rights!! Lol

  2. paladin

    A phone call from Lebron influenced his decision!! Wonder what sweet little nothings were exchanged in that call. ”Come to LA and Blow in my ear, Sailor” ”We can go to Long Beach after games & Cocktails” Lebron gets a say so in every hire made or not made. That’s why Boogers Cousin was nixed after he offered his services to Lakers for (MLE) mid level exception. Had to be Lebron says no. MLE is NBA pocket chage

  3. OCTraveler

    The Pistons hiring of Grgrurich is a great move for their defensive lapses last season. This guy has a history of creating great defensive schemes dating back to when he was the lead assistant for Jerry Tarkanian at UNLV

      • There are definitely schemes in basketball. Offensively theres a ton of different schemes you could run (run and gun, Princeton offense, the triangle, the many pick-and-roll centered variations, etc). Defensively its a little more simple, but there’s still many schemes within the obvious man-to-man and zone schemes. How you switch, how you assign defenders, how you bring help, how you crash the boards/get out on the fast break…those are all schemes.

  4. The “better offer” would have been for a few more dollars but across a two year deal – less AAV than the $4.5m he’s getting now.

  5. Seems very odd what Pritchard is saying, I think he is just telling “porkys” to look good & make Lance look bad, instead of admitting the truth, who on earth would rather play in Indiana… when you can play in LA, play with The King & for a winning team that can challenge for a ring, which Indiana will never do, sorry but don’t like when guys are not been honest, just tell the truth, fans will never be mad for thelling it as it is, when you start to spin the truth, that isn’t good enough.

    • If you think the Lakers are going to be competing for any title other than biggest disappointment I think you’re vastly mistaken. With what the Lakers have now, they look like what the 2010-2011 Cavs looked like.

      • dust44

        No they don’t. The 2010-2011 Cavs had Kyrie. Kyrie is better then anyone else on the Lakers. LeBron made a good business decision for himself. This has less to do about basketball. Being in LA is always going to be better then being in Cleveland whether he wins or not. Plus, getting silver and getting bronze in the NBA is basically the same thing. It’s not a ring. And let’s not forget he got a crap team last year into the finals. He will get a way more talented albeit young team deep into the playoffs. Won’t win a ring but will win plenty. There’s a lot more help in the Lakers then there was on any Cavs team he’s been on besides Kyrie.

        • knickscavsfan

          I really find it hilarious that people think LBJ will spend significant time involved with off-court business just because he’ll live in LA. He has a well equipped team that handles that already and most have had houses in LA for a couple of years. Basketball season is basketball season and that’s typically all he thinks of.

          You point out that “all he had was Kylie”. He also had Love who I also think is better than anyone on LA the last 4 years. You also say LA was better than any non-Kyrie team the last 4 years. Effectively you mean LA was better than what was on last seasons team since we had Kyrie and Love for 3 of the 4 years. Going fwd there are a couple of guys that MIGHT become better than Love. I wouldn’t say they’ve actually passed him yet. LA has more POTENTIAL to build on than what’s currently in Cleveland because of salary cap constraints. I think the inability to quickly improve the team coupled with the fact that his son was accepted to a top prep school in LA where he can develop his basketball skills were the two biggest reasons he choose LA.

  6. x%sure

    Nobody at Altman’s presser pushed him about whether or not he’s going after FAs, and whether or not players are listening if so. They have more room now then they’ve had in ages. Hood should be easy to match, as offers have been modest.

    At this point the valuable FAs are mostly taken.

    I would consider:
    minimums to CFrye, LNogueira & DWest;
    2/$8MM to DavidNwaba(rfa);
    2/$8MM to TarikBlack OR AlanWilliams OR 2/$12MM to MontrezlHarrell(rfa).

    • Cavs will have to wait un til next year for free agents. LeBron left them over the cap thanks to Tristan and J.R. They are at $110 million. If they let Kendrick Perkins and Okara White go, they’ll be down to $106MM. The cap is $101MM. They can still sign for the minimum, and I think have an exception to use.

      • dust44

        LeBron didn’t leave them over the cap. He didn’t negotiate those deals. Owner/GM did.

        • LeBron told Griffin he wanted to keep both J.R. and Tristan. and told them to hold out until they got the bad contracts they got stuck with.

          • knickscavsfan

            His agent who also reps Smith, Tristan and Pope negotiated deals. Just the fact that they share the same agent and he was going year to year with the Cavs coupled with him stating he was unhappy that Smith and TT were holding out from training camp was enough leverage for them to capitulate to whatever Rich wanted.

        • knickscavsfan

          You really don’t follow the Cavs dude. Ppl just don’t understand that it is expensive to try and maintain a championship caliber roster year to year with salary cap issues. They had LBJ, Love and Kyrie consuming almost 75% of the cap space and guys like Smith and Tristan who LBJ pressured them to return. The fact that those two are signed to the same agent (and business partner/close friend) Rich Paul effectively left the Cavs with no leverage with LBJs 1 and 1 contract dangled over their head. Notice how Rich was able to get Pope a very nice deal to return to LA too. The Cavs, faced with the pressure to keep the guys LBJ liked made increased offers that weren’t warranted since no other team was really competitive against. They COULD’VE put their feet down but Gilbert made a promise to him that’ll would never let the lux tax concerns prevent him from retention of the core players. LBJ was very unhappy with Riley and Heat ownership because they got rid of his buddy Mike Miller to avoid lux tax penalties on a team that just went to the finals.

          • The Cavs Lost $40MM last year because of paying the repeat luxury tax. They’ll pay an NBA record in luxury tax this year. The luxury tax is set at $123MM for next season. Gilbert is trying to avoid paying it next year with LeBron gone. If they pay $7MM for Hood they’ll be at $117MM. Gilbert isn’t likely to stretch Hill or J.R.’s contracts, because they are partially guaranteed for after next season. You guys get your figures from Sporttrac. Basketball Insiders is more accurate and tells when guarantees expire, exceptions available, etc.

      • x%sure

        Swanson’s first sentence: Cavs have to wait till next year for FAs.
        Swanson’s last sentence: Cavs have an exception to use.

        Swanson (Mio) cannot process ideas, only report on ideas of others.

        As fot the Cavs, stretching Smith puts them under the cap. Way under with same to Hill.

        Anyone can always sign minimum-wagers.

        The 8.6 exception can be split into Nwaba and a big. So the things I said are possible even without any stretching.

        The things “Mio” said contradict themselves, typical.

        • Sorry x%sure. Read Basketball Insiders Team Salaries. As of now the Cavs are over the cap and can’t sign free agents. You only see things the way you want to see them. I”m pretty sure you are Thad. Like in the Plain Dealer saying you don’t read Joe Vardon articles because he’s sometimes wrong. You are wrong a lot. The Cavs have not as yet stretched J.R. and won’t because the last year of his contract isn’t guaranteed. You need to read Basketball Insiders more often. BTW. The Plain Dealer reports that 25% of the Cavs fans won’t watch games next year. I won’t either. I’m getting NBA League Pass so I can watch the Warriors, Celtics, OKC, Pacers, and Phoenix and enjoy basketball.

          • BTW. David West will only play for the Warriors or Celtics or he’ll retire. Nwaba has several teams bidding on him. Chicago said they want Hood, but the Cavs said they’ll match it. Waiting. The few good free agents left aren’t moving. Capela-Houston, Parker-Milwaukee. None of the free agents left can help the Cavs.

          • x%sure

            Nobody knows who this Thad is, so what is the point. IDK either. But you are Swanson.

            Have you decided whether the Cavs can sign FAs yet? You seemed contradictory before, then you avoided the issue.

            It doesn’t matter whether Smith is stretched or not, or a few million is wasted if so. That’s probably not even why he is not stretched yet– more trades can be considered with Smith on the roster– i.e., Smith for Deng&Hart.

            But let’s be clear. YES THEY CAN SIGN FAs.

            • Let’s tell the truth. Like always, none of the players you have mentioned will play for the Cavs, just as in the past. The Cavs can’t make trades. Like I said you see things as you want to. Nobody wants the Cavs players. You brag about the Cavs winning a title, and being to the Finals. The way everybody else sees the Warriors win 3 out of 4, and the Cavs only win 1 because Draymond got suspended. You act like the Cavs are the greatest dynasty in history. Cleveland has won ONE title in 52 years, that’s no dynasty. For the Pacers, allwe care about is having a good team next year. Like I said I’ll get NBA League Pass and watch the Warriors, Celtics, Suns, OKC, and Pacers. I like basketball. For the record I said LeBron would go to LA, George to OKC, Jordan to Dallas, CP3 to Houston, and Kemba stays put. Luke knows my information comers from the same place as his. I’m trying to help him out. Like him I’m a basketball junkie. For your trades and how to run the NBA, how many have you gotten right? ZERO.

              • knickscavsfan

                You keep acting as if the average NBA player has any say on where he’s traded to. They might not like the idea of being traded but maybe a handful have enough clout to demand a trade and disrupt the things like a Kawhi or Kyrie. Even Kyrie would’ve played out his contract, and maybe even recommit, if he didn’t have any problems with LBJ.

                As for whether or not other teams want or don’t want a Smith, Hill or whomever, they may not want the on-court player but they absolutely want expiring contracts and that’s where you need to elevate your mind. Shoot, Mozgov signed that awful contract (even tho I think he’s under-appreciated as a player) but he’s been traded twice in salary dump trades.

                • I look at things like a general manager. When you guys offer bad contracts and a pick for Kemba Walker, I’m thinking what would Mitch Kupchak think. You guys are seeing things as LeBron and Cavs fans only, the way you want to see things. I read a lot from the places Luke does and get a lot of information. I read about the trades you guys recommend for the Cavs to make, and honestly can’t remember of any of them happening. You have to look at things from everybody’s point of view, not just your own. “Be realistic.” Players and money need to be even to be fair, it can’t just benefit the Cavs. That’s why you guys never get them right.

                  • knickscavsfan

                    The deals I mentioned all made sense for the other side and in most trade proposals I site the reasons for both sides. Still doesn’t change great fact SOME teams want those bad contracts

              • x%sure

                Liar. You made fun of posters who said Lebron was going to LA– many many times because ypi repeat yourself to nausea. You jumped on them, ridiculed. Now you claim you knew all along. Pathetic.

                And I don’t try to predict all the time. My list was possibilities, not predictions. Read my post. I said “I would consider:”, not I predict.
                Mio just makes stuff up, still.

                • Read last weeks Plain Dealer after LeBron left and the comments. These are Cavs fans. You are in the minority. Your posts are from your point of view (the Cavs), that’s why you get things wrong. If you look at pre free agency postings, you will see I said LeBron to LA and his kid to Sequia Canyon High School, KD to GSW, CP3 to Houston, PG13 to OKC, and Kemba Walker staying put. I said it 3 times. All writers change their mind. You just hate it because I see things as the writers, front office people, and non Cavs fans see things and you hate these people. Go back through your postings and find one player recommendation you’ve made for the Cavs that you have gotten right. You disagree with me, you disagree with “all the writer.” I could care less what you think. You hate Gilbert, Altman, ESPN, Hoops Hype, but you want everybody to agree with you. Sorry, nope!

                  • I’m done with you. I’ll continue to let Luke know if I find anything good. I won’t watch a Cavs game this year. Like I said I’ll get NBA League Pass and watc h wahatever good is on. The Cavs will never win another championship, they’ll have one in history. I don’t care what you think or what they do. I’m with the 2500 people in the Plain Dealer.

        • knickscavsfan

          1st off I simply don’t see the Cavs really trying to be competitive next year. Altman talked about becoming a player development team and figuring out what they have in Hood (assuming he extends), Nance, Sexton, Clarkson, Cedi and Zizic. It’s impossible to attract veterans to compete while trying to work thru growing pains of young developing players. 2nd I don’t see Cavs stretching anyone out. The NBA is the one of the few leagues where expiring contracts, regardless of the player, have value for future salary cap holds. 3rd they are in lux tax territory. Even if they stretch guys out any money used to bring in new players can put them right back over the lux tax line. Why do that if all your doing is brining in role players on 1year deals who aren’t adding significant WINS to the team?

          • x%sure

            NOT in lux tax territory. Hood will not be expensive; the biggest threat Bulls matched for Lavine. When Hood was good, he was a 2; Ingles and James were the 3s.

            You can say Cavs should tear down & rebuild, but is that what Gilbert wants? Altman will follow.

            Either win or tank. Pick a side cavsfan. You talk losing strategies then capitalize WINS. Look at the players I listed– centers mostly– are you saying TT needs more PT to develop?

            • knickscavsfan

              I have picked a direction. They should trade Love, Smith, Korver and if they can find a good vet PG to mentor Sexton, then trade Hill too. Cavs don’t have the financial ability to buy there way back to being a playoff contender.

              A) no major fa left that would move the needle.
              B) Even if there were its going to be hard to attract a major FA this year or next because it’s a tough sell potential guys with this current roster.
              C) Drafting well, developing and retaining some of the young guys we have and creating cap space to absorb bad contracts attached to draft picks is the best way to go until we have a core of a talented team. THEN we can attract FA because there’s a reason to come other than just $$$$ and that’s still might be tough.
              D) Our 1st rnd draft pick for the next two seasons (if not converted) is ours to keep if we pick at the #1-#10 slot. If we’re a better team drafting outside the lottery then we lose the pick altogether and miss out on a possible high ceiling, cheap and controllable asset that we likely couldn’t get otherwise thru FA.

              I truly think the Cavs can be a legit contender in 3-5 years if they execute things intelligently and not let their ego blind them

              • x%sure

                I agree, but would rather that 3-5 years start next year. But it’s Gilbert’s call.

                What do you think of Love for Lyles, Faried and Plumlee?

                • knickscavsfan

                  I hate that trade. Cavs should be all about the collection of controllable assets (young controllable players and draft picks). Love should be able to get back a draft pick or young controllable players with multi-years of control. Guys like Hood, Clarkson and Nance are examples. Young guys who are likely to be willing to sign extensions and still have upside.

                  Plumlee and Faried are both 28 and can be UFA after the next season or two. All 3 are marginal role players. I can’t even say either Faried nor Plumlee are better than Tristan. Lyles might have some potential to be better than Tristan because he shoot the 3 a bit but I don’t know if he has starter potential.

                  That trade does not make the Cavs any better today and doesn’t address collecting young assets.

                  • x%sure

                    Lyles is just the guy you”te yalking about. Plumlee will be fine at 33 (5 years from now) because of low mileage, being a center, and all full seasons so far (injury-free). Faried is to motivate the seller. Love is not in high demand IMO, if he was, the rebuild would be happening already.

                    • I guess you guys don’t believe Altman telling all the media sources including this one that Love won’t be traded. Altman says if they were doing a rebuild they would, but they want to be like the Pacers and try to be competitive.

            • Gilbert isn’t going to listen to you. He wants to not spend, let the salaries fall off after next season and try and sign some free agents. Gilbert with signing Hood will be close to the salary cap. He won’t go into it. I say the Cavs finish last in the division. Remember that, and we’ll see who’s right.

              • For the Denver trade, they just sent Wilson Chandler and a 2nd round pick to the Sixers for cash considerations. Denver is over the luxury tax and won’t take on any salary. And like I said Altman said he won’t trade Love. If you guys read Luke, Dana, and Arthurs articles, you would know this.

                • x%sure

                  Lazikins Denver would make $6mil profit from that trade. Look up the salaries of Faried, Lyles and Plumlee– $6mil more than Love’s. Ithink CLE should get a r1 too.

                  Altman says what Gilbert thinks he should say, and Gilbert wants to sell tickets. Love is crucial for that. It does not take special reading to hear them say they’re keeping Love. And they will for a while, until they get a good exchange, and can see the ’18 rookie class in action.

                  • It’s not going to happen. Like I’ve been saying, you’ve never gotten one right yet.

                  • It was printed here, Cleveland.com, ESPN, CBS, NBC, USA Today, Sports Illustrated that the Cavs won’t trade Love. You don’t read because you only care about what you think. Denver already has Jokic and Milsap, they don’t need Love.

    • knickscavsfan

      What are you talking about? They’re way over the cap even without LBJs money off the books. They can retain their own guys but don’t have the ability to take on any FA who wants more than perhaps the mle or vet minimum. It doesn’t really make sense to bring in a bunch of vets either.

        • This is where you get overpaid players, except nobody has cap room this year. Next year it’ll be 4 years since the tv revenue kicked in. There will be a lot of teams with cap room, and a lot of free agents. The cap is “supposed” to go up to $108MM.

        • knickscavsfan

          Doesn’t matter. They can’t afford any of the impact guys and they wouldn’t be make them significantly better anyway.

      • x%sure

        Right. MLE or vet min, just like I said. I did not list expensive players like Capela. Even he is possible, because the Cavs are not “way over” the cap; BasRef says ~$9mil. but that figure can be moved. It’s not like the old days (a month ago).

        The FO claim is that they will be going for wins. So Frye, Alan Williams etc would help.

        Like it or not, Gilbert wants to show he can win without James. Anyway, salary has been commited, stretched or not.

  7. Not everyone wants to play with the king. He’s a selfish player. It’s on CBS sports now that Kyrie said he didn’t want LeBron coming back from Miami in the first place. The Pacer players all said last season they wanted to stay together. The chemistry was and is great. It wasn’t that way in Cleveland.
    For Pritchard, tell me one gm that is honest with the public. Like Danny Ainge says what I discuss is confidential. Like the Kawhi stuff, he can’t tell others what is going on. Pritchard’s job is to put the best product on the floor to be productive, and he did a dandy job of doing that last year. They’ll spank the Cavs butts this year. I hope Kawhi goes to Philly and stay’s there. LeBron is the only marquee free agent to go to LA in how many years.
    Lance, Rajon,Javelle. Let’s get real!

    • Most people already figured that Kyrie didn’t want him coming back – it’s been known for years already that Kyrie wanted to be “the guy”, and he’s already proven that by forcing a trade out of town.

      That’s a reflection of Kyrie, not LeBron.

      Half a point for your attempt at a narrative to channel your hate, though.

      • Here’s more. People talk about the poor supporting cast in Cleveland. LeBron recruited them. Now he’s recruiting them in Los Angeles. We’re talking about Stephenson. He shot 29% from 3 in Indiana and Charlotte. LeBron wants to recruit guys to let him do his thing. Indiana would not be happy with LeBron, neither would Boston. They are team players. Kyrie isn’t “the Guy” in Boston, he’s one of the guys. Don’t forget LeBron is 3-6 in championships. M.J. is 6-0. Bill Russell is 11-2. The Golden State Warriors are 3-1. The Cavs might not be as good this year, but they’ll be a lot happier.

        • You should have read the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Cleveland.com) last weekend. LeBron had at least 2500 of his fans hating on him.

          • x%sure

            Cavs 5 finals, 1 title; Pacers squat. Pacers always sorry. Indy doesn’t have it.

            • 2nd place is the first loser, doesn’t many anything.
              We’ll find out how sorry the Pacers are when they play the Cavs this year. The Pacers payroll is still less than the Cavs, they’ll beat them bad. Pacers have 2 finals, no big deal. Golden State has 3 championships and would have had 4 if Draymond didn’t get suspended. Indy does have it. They were 3-1 last season against the Cavs with LeBron. If not for a missed goal tending call on LeBron at the end of game 5,, the Pacers would have won the playoff series. The Pacers will win the division this year. The sorry Cavs will finish LAST.

              • We’re even. Cavs won ONE championship, and played the weakest possible competition to get there.
                Indiana won a Superbowl. Cleveland will never win one of those. You had LeBron. We had Peyton, and we’re proud of it.

                  • The Browns stink. The Colts have Peyton’s statue outside Lucas Oil Field. The Pacers said after last season losing George that all they wanted to do was be competitive. The fans after the season said they enjoyed it because they play hard. I’m guessing you’ve never been to Indy. They aren’t obsessed with titles, they just want to see good football or basketball. They keep their egos in check. Indy has never had a major league baseball team, but their AAA minor league team has won several titles. The first thing Kyrie said when he got to Boston is “It feels good to finally be in a real sports town.” Who cares about titles? The Browns stink, and the Cavs will never see another championship. They stink now. Go back and read what the 2500 people said after LeBron left. The Pacers are the master of mediocrity and that’s the way they want it. They’ll still be better than the Cavs. We are proud of Peyton. We don’t care what anybody else thinks.

                • knickscavsfan

                  If you’re talking historically the city of Cleveland has won way more titles between the browns, Indians and Cavs than the Pacers and Colts. 8 with the Browns, 2 with the Indians and 1 from the Cavs. Pacers have 3 (ABA) and Colts ( Indiana only) have 1.

              • knickscavsfan

                That Draymond argument is so stupid. Cavs beat them 3x WITH Dray on the floor. How can you just assume things would’ve been different?

                Also, ppl who use that excuse NEVER….EVER reference that during the 1st matchup in the finals the Cavs were without Love for the entire series and Kyrie reinsured his knee in game 1 and missed the rest of the series too. Cavs still took it to 6 games. The first time they met with all guys on the floor the Cavs beat them in 7. How about we talk about that? They couldn’t beat a healthy Cavs team even though they set the record with 73 wins so Curry, Klay, Iggy and Green go out and RECRUIT KD to join them to beat the Cavs , which they did the next two seasons. Let’s tell that factually correct story too instead the “GSW would’ve won if Dray wasn’t suspended that 1 game fantasy could’ve would’ve should’ve” bull.

                    • I could care less about the Cavs, I rooted for the Warriors. The Cavs lost 8 of 9 games to the Warriors, and will be lucky to ever see another Finals game.

        • knickscavsfan

          I’m 100% sure he did not come into LA and demanded that Magic make those decisions. It was said thru ESPN that the offseason plans were Magic’s and he consulted with LBJ at his home about FA targets in case PG didn’t sign (and I’m sure LA knew PG wasn’t coming prior to the general public). Common sense says you don’t plan out a huge party and book a venue, staff, send out invitations and book Nas in 72 hours. No way PG would attend a party being thrown for him by Russ and then announce he WASNT returning. I’m 100% positive that PG committed days prior to announcing it whic meant it was way before LBJ announced HIS signing and meeting with Magic.

          • Did you read this article saying he called Lance? Or watch on tv before free agency saying LeBron was texting guys he wanted to play with? It was clear during the season Westbrook was trying to convince PG he wanted him to stay. I think Westbrook convinced him when he signed the extension.

            • knickscavsfan

              Just the idea that you’re assuming that LBJ has enough clout in LOS ANGELES to come in and dictate what moves they should make to MAGIC JOHNSON is absolutely absurd. I am positive that whatever LBJ did it was at the blessing or behest of Magic’s overall game plan.

    • knickscavsfan

      I’m not a LBJ fanboy but never has any teammate ever called him selfish. He gets his teammates the ball and he does a lot of team building activities during and offseason. What he does do is suck up a lot of the oxygen. That’s the price paid to have one of goats on your team and make the finals. Same as it was for MJ, Magic, Kobe, Shaquille, etc. Kyrie was actually my favorite player. It was selfish of him to not honor his contract, force a trade despite just winning the title, getting props for his winning shot in the finals and have one his best statistical years of his young career. Led team in most shots, highest FG% and highest ppg of his career. To leave all that and force the Cavs to try and deal with that drama upset the apple cart and THAT was selfish. Say what you want about LBJ and team movement but he never demanded a trade or caused turmoil like Kyrie, Kobe, D. Howard, Melo (when with Denver) or Kawhi. He played his last season to its fullest and then choose to walk once he was a FA.

      • You should have read all the comments in the Plain Dealer after LeBron left. Many had to do with him dominating the ball. The media says Ben Simmons and Lonzo Ball are bad fits with LeBron because they need the ball and can’t shoot. Just like LeBron, Kyrie was doing what was best for himself. He is happy now. If he had stayed, he wouldn’t have been. Same situation as Kawhi, Kyrie didn’t want to play with LeBron any more.
        PG was saying during the season that there was no one he wanted to play with more than Westbrook. When he announced at Westbrooks party, it was old news.

        • knickscavsfan

          Anyone that claims that playing with LBJ is a detriment is a foolish individidual. The man took 8 teams to 8 consecutive finals appearances. He is a point forward and almost all agree that he has a high basketball IQ and will get the ball to the open guy.

          The fact that a ball dominant guy will struggle with another ball dominant guy isn’t completely untrue. It makes sense. However, LBJ/Kyrie worked. Harden/Paul worked. He is NOT a ball dominant player the same way Russ was. Russ holds the ball and makes bad decisions. Shoots last minute shots with guys open. Shoots for a poor FG%.

          LBJ shoots 54%, scores over 25 PPG and averages 8 ass pg. He’s an amazing IQ floor general and if others don’t appreciate him, then oh well.

          • I know you don’t want to read last weekend’s Plain Dealer because you know it isn’t what you want to see. For the Finals, I remember the Colts put up a banner for losing to the Patriots for the AFC Championship. Everybody laughed! 2nd place is the first loser. You see 8 finals in 8 years. If you’re not a Cleveland fan, you see ONE championship in 52 years (54 now). If you are a small market team like Indy, Milwaukee, Charlotte, etc. Mediocrity. You need to keep in mind how long it was before the Cavs won a title and how long it could be for another. Just like the Knicks. For LeBron, people get turned off by the egos. The Pacers GM says he doesn’t want any superstars. He’d rather have 12 team players.

            • Mediocrity is fine for the little guys. No big heads. Big heads cause anxiety attacks.

  8. cesc, the Pacers have a better chance of making the Finals this year than do the Lakers. Not saying they would win it once there, but competing against Boston, Toronto and Philly is easier than fighting with Houston and GS to get to that last round.

    LeBron called Lance and swayed him to come, that just makes me laugh for some reason. Not that I don’t believe that it’s true, but it’s funny to see two guys that hated each other become fast friends.

  9. sameichel

    I’m all in for keeping love but I would trade him for cj mccollum because he is younger and is has a couples years of control, also we don’t have a shooting guard worthy of being a starter right now

    • knickscavsfan

      I’d rather get younger players and draft picks. The rebuild will probably take 3 years and CJ alone won’t make them a good team and he’ll probably leave once his contract is up.

      We only know Gilbert from 3 eras. Cavs w/ LBJ 1.0, Cavs w Kyrie alone aka the rebuilding and Cavs with LBJ 2.0.

      I think Gilbert gets a bad rap for the most part, letter aside. Cavs should focus on changing the narrative of team. Improve the culture, hire the best front office, scouts, doctors, show stability, develop the young players and once they’re solid, make attempts to improve the team by attracting outside players. Don’t let possible ridicule that will come because the best player in the world is no longer on the roster. Idiots won’t understand how historically great franchises like the Bulls, Celtics and Lakers also struggled for years and in some cases, decades once they lost their franchise players. Don’t let your ego convince you to keep Love. He genuinely might Love the city of Cleveland because he’s been here for perhaps the best years of his NBA career. He didn’t want to approve a trade to Cleveland (told them not to trade for him because he wouldn’t sign an extension and would walk the next year) until LBJ announces he’s coming back and was able to convince him to join him in Cleveland. He might well Love the city and still opt out and leave to join a more competitive team or just be in a city he might prefer, especially since he’s a California kid who’s spent his entire career in cold weather cities like Cleveland and Minnesota.

      • Cavs better hope they finish 1-10 next season or Atlanta gets their draft pick. Same for year after. The 3rd year it turns to a 2nd round pick. The Cavs know even though they have cap room next season, they’ll most likely get tier 2 free agents. Their are several good small forwards in the draft next year to replace LeBron. They are repeating the path now that they had when they lost LeBron last time. And they don’t have any players that anybody wants in trades now except Love, and Altman says he won’t trade him.

          • Without LeBron, no no no way is Melo coming to Cleveland. I haven’t missed yet on free agent signings. It’ll be Houston.

              • Writers like at ESPN change things daily and weekly. Last weeks Plain Dealer showed 4 times LeBron said he wouldn’t leave Cleveland. Basketball Insiders and ESPN had their Final mock drafts. I showed my Final predictions 3 times. You absolutely hate when I’m write, when like your recommendations of the trade with Denver, you never get it right. It’s no wonder you hate front office people. They certainly don’t listen to you.

                • You make such a big deal about titles. When I go to my grave, the Cavs will have ONE. You need to talk to Golden State about championships. They’ll win another next year. Small markets don’t get excited about championships. You win ONE and talk like you’re the greatest in history. You’ll finish behind Indiana, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Detroit next year. None of these are planning on winning a title. Never forget Cleveland has ONE in the last 54 years.

  10. Spike4christ

    Love will be traded if the right deal comes along. Celtics Traded IT because the right deal came along. The Spurs will trade Leonard too. The Pacers have done well in the trade for George. They will be in the Top 4 in the East. I think Lance is in good situation to learn from LeBron on how to play.

  11. paladin

    So A phone call from lebron gets Lance to joining Lakerland. Wish I could have heard that conversation. Lance come to LA and whisper those sweet nothings in my ear.

  12. paladin

    Bebrick is putting together a great roster. Lance, Rondo and soon to get Carmelo. Theme song will be ”Maniacs”

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