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Report: Cavs Deal Jack In Three-Team Trade To Open Up Space For LeBron

The Cavs haven’t had enough cap space to offer presumptive free agent signee LeBron James the max contract he desires, but they opened up enough room in a three-team trade involving the Nets and Celtics, ESPN’s Marc Stein reports. Cleveland now has the cap space to offer LeBron the maximum allowable contract he’s said he wants, opening up the door for his much ballyhooed return to Ohio.

Here’s the three-team deal in total to create cap room for Cleveland: the Cavs deal Jarrett Jack — who just signed to a four-year deal with them last summer — along with Russian Sergey Karasov to the Nets. Brooklyn will send sweet-shooting Marcus Thornton and his expiring $8.7-million contract to the Celtics. Cleveland also sends a first-round pick and Tyler Zeller to the Celtics, who had quite the haul as Cleveland sheds $9.5 million of cap space.

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The Nets acquire a solid backup point guard in Jack after Shaun Livington signed with Golden State. Karasev is a project, but with Prokhorov as an owner and Andrei Kirilenko as a guide, he fits nicely with Brooklyn. The Celtics get the biggest haul in an expiring contract and shooter with Thornton, plus a promising young piece in Tyler Zeller, and another first-round pick.

All of this was to create cap space so the Cavs have a chance to offer LeBron the max.

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They did so without breaking up a core that includes No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins, former No. 1 pick, Anthony Bennett, just-signed Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. All of those pieces — except Kyrie — could be enough to work a deal for, say, Kevin Love, if LeBron wants Cleveland to add a third superstar.

Breathe Cleveland, you’re in position; now it’s all up to LeBron — a decision that could still backfire.

Will this be enough to net LeBron?

Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.

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