LeBron James isn’t beating around the bush. As the Cleveland Cavaliers’ real season finally begins to dawn, the four-time MVP made a very public overture to one of his longtime Eastern Conference rivals who recently hit the open market.
“He knows that we want him,” James said. “If he decides to come here, it’d be great. If not, then we’ll continue to move on with what we have.”
“He’s a great piece for any team,” James said. “If we’re lucky enough to get him, he would mean something to us. If not, we have enough here to compete.”
Johnson was waived by the Nets on Thursday afternoon and is expected to clear waivers on Saturday. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported earlier this week that the Cavaliers are on a long list of likely playoff teams that are interested in signing the 34-year-old.
At 6-foot-7 and a sturdy 230 pounds, Johnson is the type of player whose size and skill would fill a hole on Cleveland’s roster. James is the only Cavalier wing capable of toggling between both forward positions for extended stretches. Adding Johnson would give some much-needed legitimacy to Tyronn Lue’s small-ball lineups on both ends of the floor, a development that would loom especially large in a potential NBA Finals rematch against the Golden State Warriors.
Needless to say, though, other contending teams certainly have ambitions of slotting Johnson in a similar role. Players of his experience and physical nature who are true marksmen – he’s shooting 46 percent from beyond the arc since the New Year – are few and far between.
We’ll keep you updated on Johnson’s status as news becomes available.
(Via Akron Beacon Journal)