The Cavaliers have been left in the dark in the past during LeBron James’ well-publicized past free agencies. They’ve been given the opportunity to pitch, but LeBron has gone radio silent and it’s not easy to figure out where he’s at in his process.
Well this summer, that’s changed, at least to some extent. Joe Vardon is reporting that while the Cavaliers won’t have an answer as to his plans in free agency before the NBA Draft, the team has been in contact with James’ team.
Via Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:
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.
For those inclined to panic, not knowing LeBron’s future prior to draft day could read as concerning, but ultimately, that was always going to be the case.
One of LeBron’s biggest strengths as an operator in free agency is to never close doors until he has to - until the Cavaliers have a roster worthy of him sticking around, or at least have deals aligned that are strong enough, there’s no value in his early commitment. He can and should ride this as far as he can.
Now, if the Cavaliers have one or multiple deals in place to add legitimate stars to the roster and he still won’t commit, well, that throws a wrench in things. But that’s a different conversation for another day. What’s more important is that the Cavaliers are in contact with James team. It’s impossible to operate without communication between the two parties, and the less the Cavaliers hear from James’ team, the more dire their situation should be considered.
The piece notes that there hasn’t been any firm meeting with James and the team just yet, and that may not come. It’s just really hard to know when James is keeping things as close to the vest as he is.
The biggest takeaway here is that anybody who tells you that LeBron James made up his mind to leave six months ago doesn’t know what they’re talking about — he’s too smart to do that, and will always bide his time until the best option presents itself.