LeBron James isn’t afraid of nuance, but lately, he hasn’t exercised much of it. The 32-year-old clearly wants to win a fourth NBA title, and he clearly does not think the Cavs have enough to do it.
Dan Gilbert may want to listen to his star player – or at least read his social-media posts.
“Look, when LeBron met with Dan Gilbert two years ago before he returned to Cleveland, the handshake agreement (was that Gilbert would) spare no expense (to help the Cavs) win championships,” Fox Sports NBA analyst Chris Broussard said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “So obviously Dan Gilbert agreed to it. And now, with LeBron saying the Warriors are stacked and we obviously have a roster that can win the East, but we don’t have as much as Golden State and we got an extra roster spot, I don’t want to hear this stuff about the luxury tax, which is what he’s hearing. He’s saying (to Gilbert), ‘Look, you’re worth $5 billion. A few million isn’t going to break you to win a championship.’ He said the other night, ‘I hope the organization isn’t satisfied.’ So those comments were aimed at Dan Gilbert. Are you just satisfied now that you got one championship and that we’re going to be going to the Finals and we’re going to be making money off the playoff – and obviously the franchise has appreciated in value. Are you satisfied with that now that that makes money for you? I want championships. That’s why LeBron went public. He wants to put the pressure on the organization – not just make it internal, but put it out there that I want us to spend more money. But look, there’s no move that’s realistic that they’re going to make that gives them, on paper, the same type of talent as Golden State.”
Doug Gottlieb believes that James is too willing to point the finger at other people. James clearly has input in terms of roster composition, and the Cavs may have overextended themselves by paying J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson and, yes, James what they’re paying them.
“You’re absolutely right about that,” Broussard said. “Look, when you come and call out your teammates, you can’t be turning the ball over with 40 seconds left in the fourth quarter or taking a 35-footer to try to tie the game with like 15 seconds left on the shot clock, which is what he did (Wednesday) night. So he’s got to play better, too. There’s no question about that.”
General manager David Griffin, for what it’s worth, believes the Cavs have the roster to win a championship but that it simply needs to improve before June.
“He’s absolutely right on that,” Broussard said. “No matter who they get, the best case scenario might be a Deron Williams if he gets bought out from Dallas. But even that, it’s not like that matches you with Golden State. I think they need to get back their identity, which was a tough, hard-nosed defensive team. Now they still obviously were great offensively, but they’ve been terrible as of late. They’re middle of the road (statistically), and they’ve become this finesse team that’s wants to just shoot a bunch of threes – and that will work against everybody else (except) San Antonio and Golden State.”
The Knicks reportedly offered Carmelo Anthony for Kevin Love, but the Cavs didn’t bite. Broussard believes that Anthony will be traded – possibly to the Celtics, but more likely to the Clippers.
“(The Knicks) obviously want to move him, and there are a few places he would go,” Broussard said. “I don’t see him going to Cleveland because the Cavs likely won’t give up Kevin Love. The place could be the Clippers. There’s a report that they’ve been talking about a deal where the Clippers would be bale to get Melo and keep Blake (Griffin), DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul. Now I don’t know how serious it is. The question a lot of people are throwing out is would Doc Rivers trade his son? And that makes no sense for the Knicks because (Jamal) Crawford and (Austin) Rivers have two years left on their deal after this year. So look, if the Clippers could get Melo without breaking up their Big Three, I do it. Now how’s it going to work? I don’t know. You’re Doc Rivers, you work it out. But that’s your only chance of getting closer to the Warriors, I believe.”