There are a number of questions that have to be answered before I can address the one everyone in Cleveland wants to know.
Where do the Cavs stand after the 2014 draft?
As I mentioned on Friday (The Cleveland Cavaliers have issues.), new head coach David Blatt problems that he must overcome before the Cavs can even think about trying to lure LeBron James back to Cleveland. There is no
way that UFA SF Luol Deng resigns. That leaves a hole the size of the Grand Canyon in the starting lineup. C Anderson Varejao can’t stay healthy and back up C Spencer Hawes is a UFA and likely to leave if he gets a decent offer.
If Blatt can solve the issues, the first overall pick Andrew Wiggins will help make the team a playoff contender. However, even in the weak Eastern conference the Cavs are a 5th or 6th seed. There is no way they can win a playoff series against the top teams.
Where might LeBron be interested in going?
In my opinion LeBron will not go anywhere except back to Miami or to Cleveland. Most of the teams that have 2 stars already are in the West. He won’t go to the West because the path to the finals is much easier in the East. Also he will look like a mercenary going to a 3rd team just because he lost to the Spurs. By staying in Miami and taking less in salary, he looks like a team guy. By going back to Cleveland he looks like a hero going to save his home town team.
What do the Cavs have to do to get LeBron to even think about coming back?
About the only thing that will get LeBron to consider coming back would be to bring a super-star vet to join point guard Kyrie Irving. All the conversation around the Cavs has just one option—trading for PF Kevin Love. Landing Love would definitely catch the attention of LeBron. But there are issues with that concept.
First, Love will be costly in terms of talent and assets to get him. It would likely cost the Cavs Wiggins, SG Dion Waiters, PF Tristan Thompson and 2 future Cavs 1st round picks. Given that there is just 1 year left on Love’s contract, that would gut the Cavs and their future for the chance that LeBron would come.
Second, Love will only sign an extension with the Cavs if LeBron is in Cleveland. If LeBron goes back to Miami, Love will leave after 2014-15 season and the Cavs will be back in the lottery from now on.
Is there an alternative that might catch LeBron’s interest?
There are some alternatives but you have to wait for tomorrow’s posting to find out what they are.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think.
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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
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