With or without LeBron, time in Cleveland must go on. The team have holes all over their roster — not just the massive one that could be left if James leaves — but also at shooting guard and center. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported today:
The Cavs are also believed to be pursuing various shooting guards. Sources indicated the team planned to make contact with Ray Allen, Mike Miller and John Salmons. Allen, like Amare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh, would become more likely if James re-signs.
In the time since that was published, word out of Milwaukee is that Salmons is about to accept a $39 million, 5-year offer from the Bucks, but Allen and Miller would still work for the Cavs. Ray would be the toughest catch, though. He’s bound to get a few big offers from teams who strike out on getting two max players, like New Jersey, Chicago or Miami. Plus, with Doc Rivers now coming back to Boston, the Celtics have a huge edge in his recruitment. The tipping point will be the length of contract. How many years is Cleveland willing to offer?
With Shaquille O’Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas both becoming free agents, the Cavs need to also bring in someone at center. A name the Cleveland Plain Dealer is floating around is Brendan Haywood. The Mavs will likely let him leave if he gets a big offer. And someone will pony up the dough for Haywood just because there aren’t too many athletic 7-footers out there. He made $6 million this year and can expect to see similar money this offseason.
Cleveland sees itself as the frontrunner for LeBron, and they are doing what they can to show him they are still committed to bringing in talent.