July 5 (The Sports Xchange) – The Cleveland Cavaliers and free agent LeBron James are in no hurry to sit down and discuss a new contract.
The Cavs couldn’t ask James to help them recruit West to Cleveland – if, indeed there is interest, which was widely reported Saturday – because James doesn’t communicate with teams on the phone as a free agent. Another player Cleveland will entertain to bring back is Matthew Delavedova, which is expected to be around $3 million a year.
LeBron James has decided not to talk to the Cavs about a new deal until the team re-signs Tristan Thompson, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
In the first 24 hours of free agency, the Cleveland Cavaliers committed $US150 million Kevin Love and Iman Shumpert. He reportedly is more interested in being with a Title contender than money. After not having enough depth in the 2014-15 National Basteball Association season, it nearly seems like the Cavs are trying to sign too many players this offseason. He’s a free agent, as well, and the best player available at his position. He has been linked to the San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards in the past couple of days with the Cavs another fitting contender to be hot on his trail. This would be great for Cleveland on the court; Johnson’s 3-point-shooting rate fell to 35.9% last season, but he’d be getting more open looks on a team with LeBron.
The Cavs, who will likely have a payroll topping $100 million if Thompson and James re-sign, could offer their $3.4 million taxpayer’s midlevel exception to West. But it’s a big jump from that to say they wouldn’t have made it as far had Love kept his minutes and Thompson’s role was curtailed.
West could have earned $12.6 million next season, but declined his player option, then accused team president Larry Bird of being disingenuous throughout his four years with the Pacers.
Conversely, barring injury or an imaginative trade, Thompson is going to come off the bench next season.
But the Cavs can’t move on to James until the Thompson deal is complete.