The Cleveland Cavaliers are still the class of the Eastern Conference and the centerpiece of that success is LeBron James. However, the Cavs have been very quiet in free agency since the process opened in July and one report now indicates that James isn’t happy about that.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today brings word of James’ negative feelings and they include both frustration and concern.
Gilbert’s decision left the Cavs without the franchise’s top two front-office execs at a critical time, and it left James frustrated and concerned about the team’s ability to put together a roster that can better compete with Golden State, the person with direct knowledge of James’ thinking told USA TODAY Sports. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.
James was not at all pleased in late June when word broke that general manager David Griffin would not be retained and since then, Cleveland’s flirtation with Chauncey Billups was not consummated in the form of a long-term partnership. In fact, the Cavs are still without a clear direction in the front office and, with the exception of bringing in rookie Cedi Osman, retaining Kyle Korver and signing Jose Calderon and Jeff Green, there isn’t a big-time change on the roster to speak of in mid-July.
There is still time for Cleveland to pull off a high-stakes trade if they so desire but the lack of a definitive leader in the front office makes that less likely. For now, the Cavs look very similar to the product that was on the floor in the 2017 NBA Finals and, while that is a good basketball team, it isn’t one likely to topple the reigning champion Warriors.