Tag: Cleveland Cavaliers

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six

Report: As expected, LeBron James tells Cavaliers he will opt-out of contract. He’s expected to re-sign in Cleveland.


LeBron James will be a free agent this summer.

Except it’s not “here we go again” from last summer because nobody around the league thinks LeBron is going to bolt Cleveland again.

Still, it is now official, LeBron has told the Cavaliers he will opt out. Brian Windhorst of ESPN and Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports went to Twitter with the report.

It’s quaint LeBron wants to pretend to leverage the Cavaliers into roster upgrades, as if he didn’t have that kind of leverage without the waiting period. He wants

He will re-sign with the Cavaliers, another max deal with another opt-out after one year. Then he will opt out again in the summer of 2016 and sign another max deal, this one under the new salary cap that spikes with the influx of money from the new television contract. He’s not taking a discount, and the leverage game is a reminder to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert that he needs to keep spending to win.

The reality is LeBron is not deserting Cleveland again. He will not even meet with other teams.

LeBron did a lot to restore his reputation over the past year with the move back home to Cleveland — which sold well to a national audience — and his play in the NBA Finals despite losing. His image is better, to leave again would tarnish that image. Plus, where is he going to go where he has a young Kyrie Irving (and most likely Kevin Love) on his team, plus have this kind of control over the organization?

Short of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert professing his allegiance to the so-called Islamic State — or some other radically unexpected stupid move that forces LeBron’s hand — he’s not leaving the Cavaliers again. LeBron is home for good.

Daryl Morey says Rockets more likely to re-sign their own free agents than land a big name

D.J. Augustin, Patrick Beverley

In the last two offseasons, the Rockets have been major players in free agency. All indications from Daryl Morey are that that’s not going to be the case this year. In 2013, Houston landed the biggest free agent of the summer in Dwight Howard. Last year, they made a pitch to Carmelo Anthony and came close to luring Chris Bosh away from Miami, before the Heat came through with a max contract offer. Now, even with such names as Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge on the market, Morey seems more focused on re-signing the Rockets’ own players who are due for new deals than adding another star.

From Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

The Rockets are “probably likely” to stick with their plan to remain above the salary cap and spend the free-agency period putting the band back together by signing many, if not all, of their five free agents.

Morey did say there are “possible opportunities we have to explore that are bigger. But I think they’re unlikely.”

Those unlikely “possible opportunities” are enough for the Rockets to do some big-game hunting when free-agent season opens Wednesday, but without the confidence of the past two summers.

This summer’s top free-agent targets – big men LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love – are considered much greater long shots than the top players of the past two offseasons that had the Rockets in the middle of the annual free-agent frenzy.

The Rockets will have five players to make decisions on this summer: restricted free agents Patrick Beverley and K.J. McDaniels, and unrestricted free agents Josh Smith, Corey Brewer and Jason Terry. Beverley and Smith are the two most likely players to be priorities. Beverley missed the last two weeks of the regular season and the entire postseason with torn ligaments in his left wrist, but he should be healthy by training camp and he’s been a defensive pest for Houston the last three years. He should be due for a significant raise over the $915,000 he made this season — probably something north of $10 million annually.

Smith resurrected his career in Houston after a catastrophic year-plus in Detroit, learning to play to his strengths as a solid defender and around-the-basket finisher and complimenting Howard well in the frontcourt. Brewer found a perfect role as an energy guy off the bench in Houston after being traded from Minnesota in December. Terry was surprisingly solid in the backup point guard role, stepping in as a starter after Beverley went down. McDaniels didn’t play much after being traded to Houston from Philadelphia at the deadline, but he’s still a promising young talent.

Unless something unforeseen happens, Morey’s plan seems to be to keep this group together and add new draftees Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell. And why not? The Rockets made the Western Conference Finals despite injuries to Beverley and Donatas Motiejunas. If the opportunity is there to get a star like Love or Aldridge, Morey will obviously go for it, but it’s understandable that he sees potential for this core to make yet another leap after a successful season and playoff run.

Blazers GM denies report LaMarcus Aldridge told team he would leave in free agency

Memphis Grizzlies v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Three

Of all the marquee free agents out there — a group that technically includes LeBron James, Kevin Love and Marc Gasol — LaMarcus Aldridge is the one most have their eyes on as a guy who could potentially change teams.

A recent report claimed that Aldridge has already informed the Blazers that he won’t be back, but Portland’s GM strongly denied it, while claiming that a decision on Aldridge’s future has yet to be made.

From Mike Tokito of the Oregonian:

After all the recent reports that LaMarcus Aldridge was not going to return to the Trail Blazers, general manager Neil Olshey – in one of his regular telephone conversations with the All-Star power forward – asked Aldridge about it.

“I actually asked him how would you like me to address it,” Olshey said. “He said, ‘Just say it’s not true. You and I know where we’re at right now.'” …

“It was misreported, it’s not true,” Olshey said. “I can tell you he has not informed anybody in this organization his intention not to return to this team.” …

“We’ve always known that LaMarcus is going to have a robust free agent market,” he said. “It was a market we were going to compete in. It’s a market we’re still planning to compete in. But in no way has he given us any indication that he’s not returning to the Trail Blazers.”

This report, coming directly from Olshey, is easier to believe than the one that claimed Aldridge was already gone.

Until the Blazers sit down with Aldridge to discuss contract options, and until Aldridge meets with suitors that are expected to include the Lakers and the Spurs, it’s impossible to determine which way he’ll lean in terms of making a decision about his free agent future.

There aren’t any reasons for Aldridge to declare he’s hell bent on leaving Portland, at least on the surface. It may eventually play out that way, but for now, it appears as though the Blazers still have at least a puncher’s chance at retaining his services.