I’ll just say it. The Cleveland Cavaliers are a mess. Not on paper. More so, in interviews. Or on social media. After losing to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, things have only gotten progressively worse for the Cavs. They basically got rid of their GM, who was popular among the players. Their biggest free agent acquisition this summer has been – wait for it – Jeff Green, despite calls from players to go out and make a splash to help the team get past the Warriors in their presumed fourth straight finals matchup next June. Although, after seeing some other teams make some big moves, and the recent grumblings and trade request made by Kyrie Irving, perhaps it is time for the Cavs to blow up the roster. Now. Right now. And what bigger way to blow up one of the best rosters in the league then by trading away one of the best players on the planet? No, I’m not talking about Irving. I’m not talking about Kevin Love (obviously). I’m talking about that other guy who says that he has never played on a superteam. That’s right. Before watching him walk away from his hometown team – yet again – maybe the Cavs should trade LeBron James.
Why not? If Irving is a goner – and he does not have to be, as the Cavs have him under contract for three more years – then things could get dicey in Cleveland rather quickly. That is, of course, unless the Cavs feel that they can get back enough pieces to keep them as a title contender, and also make James content enough to sign an extension after this season. If not, then it is time for a massive overhaul, basically a year or two earlier than expected.
The time is now to trade James. He is a goner after this season. Everybody knows it. He is – once again – unhappy in Cleveland. He wants another challenge. He is going to leave. Again. Why not send him packing on your terms and receive more in a return to make the likely rebuilding period a bit easier?
So, if the Cavaliers trade James, where could he go? How about to the Boston Celtics? That would certainly give him a great chance at another NBA championship, as well as letting him destroy the Cavs in a possible first round playoff matchup. Even if it is only for one year, I could see Boston moving enough draft picks and young players to make it work for both teams. Think about the Celtics’ roster with James, Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford. Even James may have to call that a superteam.
Could LeBron play with Lonzo Ball in Los Angeles? The two have exchanged words – well, LaVar Ball has exchanged words through third parties, and James has countered in interviews – but everybody knows that James may wish to one day play for the Lakers.
If we are looking at teams with enough young talent and/or draft picks to pry James away from the Cavs a year early, what about the Philadelphia 76ers? The Sixers would need a long term commitment from James for a trade to make sense, but what about that last piece to The Process?
The New York Knicks may be able to convince Carmelo Anthony to stay if they can pair him up with his good friend. That is, unless the Knicks trade Melo to the Houston Rockets or acquire Irving instead. What about the San Antonio Spurs? They nearly missed out on acquiring Chris Paul. If they could land James – or even Irving – that could be enough to possibly get them past the Warriors. The Miami Heat could make one more title run, if they were able to trade for James and find a way to bring back Dwyane Wade. Or the Minnesota Tmberwolves may be able to convince James to come and play with the likes of Andrew WIggins, Jimmy Butler and Karl Anthony-Towns.
I don’t know what will happen. I don’t even know if the Cavs will trade James. Or Irving, for that matter. Maybe Cleveland decides that it has a great chance at a title this season. Maybe the Cavs think that another championship run is enough to convince the band to stay together.
Then again, maybe Dan Gilbert has had enough of everybody wanting to take credit for “his” team and he gets rid of the whole bunch. You just never know.