CLEVELAND — LeBron James will continue to soar over downtown.
Sherwin-Williams announced Tuesday it has changed plans to remove a 10-story banner of James hanging from the side of its headquarters. The paint company had intended to detach the banner and replace it with one celebrating its 150th anniversary.
However, public outcry caused Sherwin-Williams to alter those plans and remove the likeness of James for only a few weeks. Now, the banner, which hangs across the street from Quicken Loans Arena, home of the NBA champion Cavaliers, will be untouched.
“We’re committed to doing the right thing for the people of this great city,” said John Morikis, the company president and CEO. “For the last year, we’ve been planning to hang a celebratory banner outside our building during the summer months. But what better way to celebrate our 150th year than with a NBA championship.”
Also, Sherwin-Williams is donating $150,000 to the LeBron James Family Foundation.
The area below the banner has become a tourist stop, with visitors taking pictures under the giant mural of James spreading his arms. During the Cavs’ downtown parade, which drew an estimated one million spectators last week, James posed near the banner mimicking the artwork.
Jordan McRae signed with the Cavaliers at midseason and went along for the ride en route to their championship.
He’s on track to help them defend it.
Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:
The Cleveland Cavaliers will exercise their 2016-17 team option on guard Jordan McRae, league sources informed cleveland.com.
McRae’s salary ($874,636) is still only partially guaranteed, according to Haynes.
On one hand, Cleveland locks up a player on a minimum salary. That’s nice for a team facing a monstrous luxury-tax bill.
On the other hand, the Cavs are now committed to paying a fringe player some money. If they waive him later, his guaranteed salary will increase their tax.
It’s only Dan Gilbert’s money. The Cavaliers are better off with McRae off the market. They can always let him go later. If the owner is willing to accept that cost, there’s no downside.
Jim Buss was so confident Kevin Durant would sign with the Lakers, Buss told people late last season that it’d happen.
But Durant didn’t even schedule a meeting with the Lakers.
Like the Knicks and unlike the Wizards, the Lakers – and Hawks – are still trying to get on the docket.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
The Atlanta Hawks’ free-agent priorities are re-signing forward Al Horford and swingman Kent Bazemore, but the Hawks are also trying to wedge their way into the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Hawks, like the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, have been working to try to convince Durant and his representatives to grant them a face-to-face recruiting meeting after free agency starts at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, even though their chances appear dim.
Durant scheduled meetings with the teams he believed made the most sense: Thunder, Warriors, Spurs, Celtics, Heat and Clippers. If the Lakers and Hawks get meetings, they could try to persuade him. But it already seems like an uphill climb for Durant’s scheduled suitors outside Oklahoma City and Golden State. The Lakers and Atlanta face even longer odds.
Still, a meeting with Durant accomplishes a few things:
1. It lays the groundwork for 2017 if Durant signs a one-year contract. Maybe the Lakers or Hawks will look more appealing a year from now.
2. It establishes the team as a major player in free agency and might help get other free agents to take notice.
3. It excites fans, who might spend money on the team.
Richard Jefferson announced his retirement after the Cavaliers won the championship.
Then, he said he wasn’t certain.
Now, he’s planning to stick around for a while.
Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports:
By the end of the week, Jefferson will announce his intention to play another decade.
Jefferson was a valuable contributor to the Cavs. He was their next-best player after LeBron James while they were falling down 3-1 in the Finals. Cleveland needed Kyrie Irving and others to step up to come back – Jefferson had already hit his highest gear – but being a team’s second-best player at that stage, winning or losing, is nothing to scoff at. The 36-year-old Jefferson clearly has something left in the tank.
Good news for the Cavaliers: If he wants to return, the largest salary he can command is $ 1,861,991 (120% of the minimum through Non-Bird rights). That’ll help keep their luxury-tax bill from getting even more exorbitant.
He could get more on the open market, but he seems happy in Cleveland. At this stage of his career, winning and comfort probably take priority.
Andrew Nicholson just had a career year.
He stopped taking so many inefficient long 2s, moving his shot selection beyond the arc. The power forward made 41 3-pointers (as many as he made in his first three seasons combined) and shot 36% on 3s. He hit the glass harder. The Magic allowed 7.6 fewer points per 100 possessions with him on the floor than off.
Yet, Orlando seems ready to move on.
Nicholson fell from the rotation, and the Magic tried to trade him before the deadline.
Now comes the surest sign Nicholson will exit Orlando.
Zach Lowe of ESPN:
Nicholson – the No. 19 pick in the 2012 draft – would’ve received a qualifying offer worth $3,394,726. He might not get that on the open market – but he might. It takes just one team to like him, and nearly everyone will have money to spend.
The 26-year-old Nicholson is old for his experience level, but he’d provide decent depth.
The Magic open a little more cap room, and they project to have nearly $44 million in space (counting qualifying offers for Evan Fournier and Dewayne Dedmon). They can use that to chase a wing – like Chandler Parsons – who’d allow Serge Ibaka and Aaron Gordon to spend more time together as bigs.