The Cleveland Cavaliers are off to the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive season. This is also the third time during that stretch that LeBron James has had the option to leave as a free agent. With this season being the most tumultuous yet, there has been a significant amount of talk that this might be LeBron’s last season in Cleveland.
For Dan Gilbert, the uncertainty of what will come this summer isn’t something he’s focused on. Per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the focus is squarely on this year’s NBA Finals:
“Like him, I think he’s said this, we’re just focused -- and it’s the truth, it’s not avoiding the question -- we’re literally focused on (the now),” Gilbert told ESPN. “It’s just so intense in the playoffs and getting to the Finals and now the Finals, I don’t think -- and I know he doesn’t -- I don’t think even our guys are talking (about anything other than) what’s in front of them.
”So, everybody knows, obviously what we want to happen and we’ll take the Finals first and take it from there.”
It’s not surprising that Gilbert would publicly take this stance, but I’m skeptical that it’s the case.
The upcoming NBA Finals matchup is likely going to be the most daunting task of LeBron’s career regardless of which team advances. There is a pressing need to add talent moving forward or having some sort of plan on how the Cavs will lighten his load.
It’s no secret that James and Gilbert aren’t exactly close. If trust is going to be rebuilt this summer, it’s probably wise to start working on a game plan as soon as possible.