With the 2018 NBA Draft just days away and one of the key assets at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ disposal being the No. 8 pick, they find themselves in a rather tricky situation in trying to convince LeBron James not to leave through roster improvement.
According to Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, James isn’t exactly helping them with communication, either.
“According to sources, the Cavs’ front office and James’ camp have been in contact over the phone and in person, though there has been no meeting with James present, nor has the been any real dialogue as far as James’ future is concerned.”
Vardon also reported that the situation won’t change before the draft:
The Cavaliers will not know what LeBron James intends to do this summer when they execute their draft plan Thursday, numerous sources told cleveland.com.
So the Cavs are flying blind. On one hand, their top priority is to improve noticeably enough that LeBron sticks around. On the other, however, they don’t want to clear all their assets in said attempt only to see him walk anyway, leaving them devoid of pieces to hit the ground running with their rebuilding efforts.
Most lengthy runs like the one the Cavs are coming off don’t leave organizations with a ton of assets to reload, and this would be an extreme example of that, especially if that No. 8 pick is moved.
From the Lakers’ standpoint, they have to enjoy seeing this report.
Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka or anyone else from the front office obviously aren’t allowed to communicate directly with James’ camp, but any lack of communication with entities who can currently (in this case the Cavs) helps the Lakers or any other team hoping to acquire him this summer.
It’s still fairly early in this process and chances are LeBron will reach out and personally have a conversation with the Cavs regarding what they’re thinking about doing at some point fairly soon. But the longer this lack of communication continues, the better for the several teams hoping to sign him this summer.