Sport LeBron James has left Cleveland, but it's not 2010 all over again for Cavs

19:30  11 july  2018
19:30  11 july  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

LeBron James free agency tracker: Latest news, rumors surrounding NBA's top star

  LeBron James free agency tracker: Latest news, rumors surrounding NBA's top star Tracking the latest news, rumors and speculation with LeBron James back on the market.The three-time NBA champion has been connected to the Cavs, Lakers, 76ers, Rockets and even the Celtics in free agency, but it appears Los Angeles is in the lead for James' services. LeBron will ultimately change the landscape of the league with his latest decision, and he may move quickly once he's able to begin negotiating his next deal.

LeBron James comes to town with the Cleveland Cavaliers to face the Sixers on Friday night, and it could be his last visit with the Cavs . James will be playing elsewhere next season, and exactly where I cannot tell you because I do not know. I have been sitting on a pinned tweet since Aug.

When LeBron James left Cleveland in 2010 , he enraged Cavaliers fans who wanted him to stay in Ohio for his entire career. In that essay, James explains, “If I had to do it all over again , I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left .”

  LeBron James has left Cleveland, but it's not 2010 all over again for Cavs © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

LAS VEGAS — It was the opening moments of the second game on the Cavaliers’ summer league slate here at the Thomas and Mack Center, and center Ante Zizic took a pass on the low right block. He backed in on Bulls rookie Wendell Carter, the No. 7 pick in this year’s draft, and faked toward the baseline, leaving Carter standing under the basket as Zizic turned to back toward the middle. He fumbled as he went up, but recovered the ball and finished at the rim.

It was a reminder that, as one general manager said last year, Zizic likely would have been a 2017 lottery pick had he not remained in the 2016 draft. The Celtics took him with the No. 23 pick that year and allowed him to stay in Europe before sending him to Cleveland last summer as part of the Kyrie Irving trade. He spent most of last year toiling in practice with the Cavs, but when he played 10-plus minutes (only seven games), he averaged 12.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and shot 71.4 percent from the floor.

NBA free agency rumors: Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wants LeBron James to leave Cleveland

  NBA free agency rumors: Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wants LeBron James to leave Cleveland Though many believe James will wind up with the Lakers once free agency begins July 1, he could ultimately re-up with the Cavaliers.According to to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Gilbert wants James out of town so he can “get (his) team back.

Dan Gilbert Just Gave LeBron James A Cover Story To Leave Cavs In 2018. But if James decides to leave Cleveland for a second time, he will not find himself stuck in Not when Gilbert has once again parted with an executive during an ownership tenure marked by persistent front-office turnover.

Cleveland Cavaliers roundtable: Addressing the Brooklyn pick and LeBron James ' future. It ’ s a self-fulfilling prophecy, one that could result in a relatively quiet trade deadline for the Cavs and with Gilbert likely living to regret the ill-advised tact he took – again .

Oh, and Zizic is just 21. His game is antiquated — he’s a pure back-to-the-basket big man at this point — but his skill on the block is a good starting point. He finished the game against Chicago with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

“One of my goals was to improve being patient in the post, because before I was all the time rushing,” Zizic said. “So, now I pick up my pace, and it seems good.”

MORE: NBA free agent tracker — see who goes where

Now, we’re not dropping Zizic into next year’s All-Star game, but he is part of a bigger story in Cleveland that has been overlooked in the wake of the second departure of star forward LeBron James. And that story is that these Cavs left themselves in a much better post-James situation than they were in when he went to Miami in 2010, and likely won’t need much time to rebuild themselves and jump back into the playoffs.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert thanks LeBron James in statement addressing his departure

  Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert thanks LeBron James in statement addressing his departure James announced Sunday via his agency he was leaving Cleveland and signing a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers. Gilbert, who has been the majority owner of the Cavaliers since 2005, released a statement thanking James for winning the NBA championship in 2016 and for his time in a Cleveland uniform.Here’s the Cavs’ response: pic.twitter.

When James first left Cleveland in 2010 , Joe Roman of the Greater Cleveland Partnership said that the It was estimated back then that downtown businesses would lose million over one season. For three straight seasons, the Quicken Loans Arena had seen sellout crowds reaching over 20,500.

Cleveland ' s LeBron James had 35 points and 15 rebounds in the Cavaliers ' win over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday.CreditDavid Butler Ii/USA Today Sports, via Reuters.

Start with the young guys. Zizic has looked polished in two summer league games. Rookie Collin Sexton, just 19 and the No. 8 pick in this draft, looks like a tough perimeter scorer, having totaled 50 points in three summer games. Forward Cedi Osman, who had some bright moments in his rookie season last year, shooting 36.8 percent from the 3-point line, is only 23 and scored 40 points in two summer games.

The Cavs will bring back Larry Nance Jr., who is 25 and played well as an energy-packed big man off the bench. They have the option of matching any deal for restricted free agent Rodney Hood, who averaged 16.8 points in 39 games in Utah before struggling once he was traded to Cleveland. Should he stick with the Cavs — they’ll likely match a low offer if Hood gets one from the likes of Sacramento, Chicago or New Orleans — he’ll have a chance to rebuild his value and won’t have the pressure of playing with James.

NBA trade rumors: Cavaliers would have to be ‘blown away’ by offer to deal Kevin Love in offseason

  NBA trade rumors: Cavaliers would have to be ‘blown away’ by offer to deal Kevin Love in offseason Love averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game for Cleveland last season.James agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers last week and Cleveland said following his announcement it had no plans of trading Love. The Cavaliers, however, are open to a potential deal for the 29-year-old forward, according to a recent report from the Athletic.

CLEVELAND — With rumors of another LeBron James departure from Cleveland swirling—this "I had a bunch of Cavs cutouts from newspapers all over my walls in my room, which was painted Cavs colors. If LeBron leaves again , that night could serve as a cautionary tale for Cleveland residents.

In 2010 , LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat, breaking the hearts of Cleveland fans in the process. This week, the Cavs had Tuesday and Wednesday off following a three games in four nights stretch where they only went 1-2.

Hood will just turn 26 when the season starts. The Cavs have a bench scorer in Jordan Clarkson who is also 26. Clarkson, too, struggled with the Cavs, but there is some talent here, and some room for it to grow.

There are also some attractive trade chips, though don’t expect the Cavs to be heavy on the trade market just yet. Two of the Cavs’ highest-paid players, George Hill and JR Smith, have two years left on their contracts, but both have quirks in their deals that are valuable in cost-cutting. Hill will make $19 million for this season, but only $1 million is guaranteed for 2019-20. Smith has two years and $30 million left on his contract, and only $3.9 million is guaranteed next season.

Hill has value as a veteran who defends and can knock down 3s. Smith has little value, but can provide salary relief to a team next season.

Similarly, guard Kyle Korver’s contract is not fully guaranteed ($11 million of $15 million over two years is guaranteed), but because he comes at a reasonable price and still is an effective shooter, Cleveland is not eager to move him.

MORE: Did 76ers nearly sign LeBron James?

LeBron James to the Lakers: What's next for Cleveland?

  LeBron James to the Lakers: What's next for Cleveland? The Cavaliers — and the city — face another identity crisis as their icon moves west.Owner Dan Gilbert's statement upon James' decision to sign a four-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers was pure class, expressing to the player "nothing but appreciation and gratitude for everything you put into every moment you spent in a Cavaliers uniform.

Write it over and over again if you have to. Betting against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA playoffs is not a good idea.

After the dust had settled following LeBron James ' exit from the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 , majority owner Dan Gilbert swore he wouldn't make the same mistake twice. He wasn't just referring to his famous font choice of Comic Sans. It was the way his ownership group would handle a star player' s

Of course, the biggest chip on the Cavs roster is forward Kevin Love, a five-time All-Star who had three seasons of 20-plus points and 12-plus rebounds in Minnesota before coming to Cleveland and adjusting to playing with James. There has not been much trade chatter around Love this summer — at least not yet.

That goes back to the way the Cavs are approaching their post-James team this time around. Back in 2010, when they were stuck with the likes of Antawn Jamison and Baron Davis, with virtually no young talent on hand, the Cavs won just 19 games after James left.

This time around, crazy as it might sound, the Cavs have designs on earning a playoff spot, which is not out of the question in the East. They’d need quick development from Osman, Sexton and Zizic, as well as a return of the 25-point, 14-rebound, in-his-prime Kevin Love. They’d need Hood, if he stays put, to return to his Utah form. They’d need Tristan Thompson to shake off the lethargy that dragged him down early in the season.

That’s a lot the Cavs need to go right. But 43 wins was all it took to get to the postseason last year in the conference, and the race for the No. 8 seed will be wide open, with Detroit, Charlotte and Cleveland as the likely candidates for the spot.

Love is at the spearhead of the backup plan. While he is not being shopped now, according to sources, that will change in January if the Cavs’ push to the postseason looks hopeless. Love has the chance to opt out of his contract next summer, which will ding his value, but if Love returns to his old form, it’s possible the Cavs can wring a player and/or a first-round pick for him.

Hill, Thompson, Smith, Korver, Clarkson — name the veteran player, and he’ll be on the block in six months if the Cavs don’t come together as a team with a playoff chance.

But the Cavaliers have not had a fire sale in the wake of losing James because the team is not giving up hope on this season. Nor should they. With some luck and some improvement from the team’s young pieces, the playoffs are within reach here. That’s a far cry from the situation in 2010.

NBA free agency rumors: 76ers will meet with LeBron James' reps in Los Angeles .
The Sixers have enough salary cap space to sign James to a $35.6 million annual max contract.According to ESPN, which cited unidentified league sources, a "high level" group is scheduled to meet with LeBron James' agent, Rich Paul, on Sunday in Los Angeles.

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