Cleveland Cavaliers have taken an all in approach to the off season. Cavaliers have acquired Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Antic Zizic and an unprotected 1st round draft pick for Kyrie Irving. Cavs feel they have enough to compete for a championship now and the future draft pick assures their future if LBJ decides to leave.
Lebron James is a big sore spot for the Cavaliers as he will not make a commitment to Cleveland. In earlier trade talks Dan Gilbert was willing to deal Kyrie Irving sooner but “The King” failed to make any promises of staying. One can look at Lebron’s attitude as a shrewd negotiating tactic keeping options open. Another way to look at the situation is Lebron is holding the team hostage. James will not make a commitment unless within a year the Cavs show competency to bring in talent.
Cavaliers Trade Not Enough
Everyone is confused when it comes to Lebron. People cannot fathom why Lebron James would leave the best team in the Eastern Conference. Lebron on the Cavaliers has a clear path to the NBA Finals with little resistance every year. NBA analyst consistently cite the fact the Cavs have the most depth in the NBA.
Cavaliers roster consists of J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Kevin Love, Jeff Green, Channing Frye, Lebron James, Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose and many more known names. Besides the Golden State Warriors Cleveland has the most depth in the NBA.
However, Lebron James has never been concerned about depth. King James is all about performance. When Lebron feels that his teammates are unable to perform at the highest level he will leave. Lebron’s first exodus from Cleveland he felt like he had no help and his teammates performance was subpar therefore he left.
In Miami, the final year, Lebron looked at an aging D-Wade and compromised Chris Bosh knowing the two could not perform at an optimal level Lebron, LBJ went back to Cleveland. 2017 NBA Finals exposed the Cavaliers roster ability to perform and that will drive Lebron’s decision to leave once again.
Performance Is Key Not Depth
Depth means nothing to Lebron James if the players are unable to perform at high level. Kevin Love in Lebron’s eyes is not a high performer. Derrick Rose to Lebron is unable to play at the highest level due to his injury prone nature. J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert have been inconsistent at best. Isaiah Thomas is a welcome sight but with his hip injury he may be unable to get in high gear. Jae Crowder was brought in for his defensive prowess but allowed Devin Booker to drop 70 points in Boston last year. Booker scored on Crowder continuously. Devin even chastised Crowder on his Instagram account about the situation.
Cavaliers cannot sway Lebron with a deep roster or older players past their prime. James only wants to play with those who can perform at a high level. Kyrie Irving was the only player on the Cavs who consistently matched Lebron James performance level. Even then at times Kyrie would still fall short, but his saving grace was no one else ever stepped up. Lebron will not stay because of a “deep ” line up Lebron will stay with a stacked lineup with high performers. Cavaliers may have just written Lebron’s ticket out of Cleveland with this trade.