Tag: Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James

LeBron says ‘it hurt to lose’ to Warriors in NBA Finals


When LeBron James played more than 50 minutes in leading his Cavaliers to a win in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the physical and emotional toll it took was evident in his walk-off interview immediately following the contest.

Simply put, James invested everything he had in this series, and after coming up short when facing a Warriors team that simply proved itself to be better, not surprisingly, the loss still stings days after the fact.

From a video with Bleacher Report (as transcribed by ESPN.com):

“It hurt to lose, and I’m still in a little funk right now, but I’m trying to work my way out of it,” James said.

“You know, for a team that’s first getting together, in our first year to be able to reach the Finals — not saying I’m happy with the results, but I’m proud of our guys,” James said. “Just the growth that they had from the first day we walked in the gym to the other day, us losing, I’m proud of the guys and what they was able to accomplish.”

“Being back home is everything that I dreamed of, everything that I thought about,” he said. “Being back with these fans, being back with this community, just being back here and trying to bring joy to this city, which deserves it. Bringing a sense of pride to this city, which deserves it. Giving this city something to talk about, which they deserve.”

LeBron repeated the part about being not satisfied with the results about three separate times, and it was clear that he slipped this particular media obligation in while he was doing other things; LeBron was receiving a haircut from his guy the entire time he was speaking.

But the words were honest nonetheless, and it’s one of many reasons why the city of Cleveland couldn’t be happier to have the best basketball player in the game on its side.

Report: Mo Williams ‘more than interested’ in making return to Cavaliers

Charlotte Hornets v Indiana Pacers

Mo Williams is a 12-year NBA veteran who proved last season he’s more than capable of continuing to contribute at a very high level.

He also spent time with the Cavaliers, during the final two seasons LeBron James was in Cleveland before making the move to join the Miami Heat.

Williams is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and with his previous experience playing alongside James in Cleveland, he would welcome the opportunity to once again be a part of LeBron’s squad.

From Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:

Soon-to-be unrestricted free agent point guard Mo Williams is “more than interested” in making a return to Cleveland, sources close to the guard informed Northeast Ohio Media Group.

However, due to their own pending powerhouse free agents, the Cavaliers will be limited in what they can offer. All they will have at their disposal is the taxpayer mid-level exception and the veteran’s minimum. Williams is seeking a multiyear deal and the Cavaliers and Hornets are two of the teams at the top of his wish list, a source revealed. …

Williams and James have a great relationship, I’m told. If a deal could be worked out, I’m told the four-time MVP would welcome him with open arms.

That last part is important, especially in light of what’s gone on between LeBron and his head coach for the bulk of the season.

The reality is that James has as much power in the Cavaliers organization as he wants. He can make demands about who his head coach will or will not be, and just as we saw with guys like Mike Miller and James Jones (who played very sparingly in the postseason overall, but especially during the Finals), he can push the front office in a particular direction where acquiring his former teammates is concerned.

Williams started the year in Minnesota but finished the season as a member of the Hornets, and averaged 17.2 points and six assists in 30.8 minutes per contest in Charlotte, while making 27 appearances. He was an All-Star in 2009, after Chris Bosh was forced to miss the midseason exhibition due to injury.

As you can see in the clip below, Williams was more than happy to give thanks to Bosh for unintentionally giving him that opportunity.

Report: Cavaliers shopping Brendan Haywood, first round pick in trade to try to upgrade the roster

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Three

The Cavaliers have plenty of interesting decisions to make this summer, and it starts with LeBron James and Kevin Love, both of whom are more than likely to opt out of next year’s deals in order to become unrestricted free agents, before ultimately re-signing.

But the stars were always expected back. What’s unclear is what the role players and reserve unit will look like, considering that J.R. Smith is likely to opt out, and Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova are both restricted free agents, which means the Cavaliers could retain their rights if the offers they receive from other teams don’t reach the outlandish.

No matter what happens with the players we just mentioned, Cleveland needs upgrades to bolster the depth on its roster. And the team is already working to make things happen on that front, even with the Finals loss to the Warriors only in the rear view mirror for a few short days.

From Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

Days after the end of the Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers are working on upgrading their roster by shopping the potentially valuable contract of Brendan Haywood, and — in some cases — offering it along with the 24th overall pick in Thursday’s draft, sources told ESPN.com.

Haywood’s $10.5 million contract is not guaranteed for next season if he’s waived by Aug. 2. This could be attractive to a team looking to either offload salary now or use it as part of another deal that could be executed during free agency in July.

The Cavs have tested the market in swapping Haywood either for a player or a future draft pick, sources said. …

Any trade involving the Cavs’ first-round pick could not be executed until after the draft. They are precluded from trading their pick before making the selection because they already traded their 2016 first-round pick in the deal to acquire Kevin Love last summer. That pick now belongs to Philadelphia.

Haywood’s contract could theoretically be a nice trade chip that the Cavaliers could use to upgrade the roster, should a willing trade partner be out there who has an unfavorable contract sitting on its books.

This is just the beginning for what should be an intriguing summer in Cleveland. The way that James and Love choose to structure their next deals will remain something to watch, as will the moves that the Cavaliers are able to make to reload for next season so they can once again feel confident about their chances in securing a return trip to the Finals.

Report: NBA attempting to discourage teams from saying they’ll match offers on restricted free agents

Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo

For as long as anyone can remember, teams with stars facing restricted free agency have been saying publicly that they’ll match any offer sheet those players get. It’s a way of both reassuring fans that their favorite player is in the team’s long-term plans and making other teams think twice about tying up their cap space with an offer sheet.

According to a new report by ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, the NBPA isn’t thrilled about the practice, and the league is attempting to discourage teams from doing it.

ESPN.com has learned that the NBA, as far back as November, issued a memo to all teams warning them that the NBA Players Association has officially taken the position that the well-worn “we’ll match any offer” reflex strategy and its corresponding intent to discourage interest in a particular RFA is a circumvention of the salary cap.

The league’s memo, sources said, took the rare step of further cautioning teams that, while the NBA itself doesn’t concur with the NBPA’s view, league officials see enough potential merit in the union’s stance to advise those who persist with match-any-offer chatter that they could be opening themselves up to legal action.

This is going to be a big summer for restricted free agents: the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler, the Warriors’ Draymond Green, the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard, the Pistons’ Reggie Jackson, the Cavs’ Tristan Thompson and the Bucks’ Khris Middleton lead this year’s crop. All of those players will undoubtedly draw interest around the league, but particularly in the case of Butler, Leonard and Green, it’s widely expected that their teams will match anything.

This stance against the “we’ll-match-any-offer” rhetoric is right in line with the approach NPBA executive director Michele Roberts has taken since she started as the leader of the players’ union. It’s exactly what she should be doing. Restricted free agency is a tricky issue, because the NBA wants teams, particularly those in small markets, to have a mechanism to keep their young stars, and the players want the freedom to choose their own teams.

There is some merit to the idea that a team saying publicly that they’ll match all offers can kill a player’s earning power and leverage. Under normal circumstances, Eric Bledsoe would have been one of the most sought-after free agents on the market last summer, but teams were so convinced that the Suns would match their offer sheets that they showed no appetite whatsoever for going after him. Bledsoe dangled in restricted free agency until almost the start of training camp, when he finally agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal to stay with the Suns. Roberts wants to prevent a similar situation from taking place with someone like Butler or Middleton.

PBT Podcast: Why can’t we all… er, Blatt and LeBron just get along?

David Blatt, LeBron James

In the wake of the Cavaliers loss in the NBA Finals came another big story about how LeBron James completely disrespects coach David Blatt?

What does this mean for the future of Blatt in Cleveland (not much short term, probably)? It’s LeBron’s call, would he get the blood on his hands to can Blatt and bring in his guy Tyronn Lue? If Blatt is disrespecting his head coach, what do you think the rest of the team is doing?

We cover all of it in this latest PBT Podcast, we’ve got PBT’s Kurt Helin and Brett Pollakoff, plus NBCSports’ Dominic Ridgard breaking down the Cavaliers coaching situation, and where they go from here — including taking Kevin Love’s future.

Then we get into some talk about the top of the draft, and where Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge might land as free agents.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.