With the Cleveland Cavaliers down 3-0 in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors, it might be time to start looking ahead to the summer for everyone not named The Miz. This summer has the potential to be especially big for the Cavaliers, as LeBron James possesses the ability to opt out of his contract and hit the open market.
Of course, the Cavs have known this is a possibility for a while, which is why the trade for Kyrie Irving included the safeguard of Brooklyn’s top-10 draft pick. But as it turns out, the possibility exists that Cleveland doesn’t decide to pull out all the stops with the hopes of bringing James back.
Jason Lloyd of The Athletic appeared on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland to discuss the Cavs and James with Ken Carman and Anthony Lima. During their conversation, Lloyd let it be known that he thinks the franchise might be “beyond” a big pitch to James once the summer rolls around. (Head to about the 12:35 mark of the clip below.)
“Frankly I think they’re beyond that,” Lloyd said when he was asked about the effort the Cavs will make to pitch James. “I don’t think there’s gonna be some big sell this summer, I really don’t. I think it’s gonna be ‘You wanna come back or not? This is home, you know we’ll spend money, do you wanna do this or not?’ And I think it’s gonna be that simple.”
On one hand this seems bad, because so much of free agency is selling your organization and why it’s the best fit for a player. Passing on going all-out could, conceivably, show a lack of commitment to a player, especially if they’re one as important as James.
On the other, though, there’s not much the Cavaliers could theoretically say that would be new to James. As Lloyd laid out, both sides basically seem to know the deal, with James understanding that Cleveland will satiate whatever desire he may have during their relationship.
Anything can happen between now and the start of free agency, and maybe Cleveland does decide to go crazy in their pitch to their star, but it’s interesting that the Cavs taking this approach to keeping James around is even on the table.