Exec: Lakers may have helped Cavs keep LeBron

LeBron James and the Cavaliers currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference.

When the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. from the Los Angeles Lakers as part of their roster overhaul on Feb. 8, many national pundits had a field day.

Their narrative was that by taking on Clarkson and Nance Jr., the Cavaliers helped the Lakers to create enough salary-cap room to sign Cleveland superstar LeBron James this summer.

So much for the plans of mice and men… and Lakers.

Clarkson and Nance Jr., along with fellow deadline-day acquisitions George Hill and Rodney Hood, have infused what had become a moribund Cleveland team with effort, enthusiasm, shooting and, believe it or not, defense.

Marc J. Spears of ESPN reports in a story that the Lakers’ plan of jettisoning Clarkson and Nance Jr. to Cleveland backfired on them.

Cleveland (34-22) has won two straight games since the retooling its roster and will be riding a four-game winning streak coming out of the All-Star break.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he stays in Cleveland now,” one high-ranking Eastern Conference team executive told Spears. “The Cavaliers put a really good team around him.

“The Cavaliers have made it really tough for him to decide to leave Cleveland again. The Lakers might have helped them keep LeBron.”

While Cleveland stands third in the Eastern Conference, trailing first-place Toronto (41-16) by 6.5 games and second-place Boston (40-19) by 4.5 games.

While the Lakers are dreaming about this summer, James is focusing on what he always does — winning a championship, a point he reiterated after winning Most Valuable Player honors at the All-Star Game for a third time.

“We just added four news guys before the [trade deadline], and we have a lot of work to do,” James said postgame Sunday night. “So, I really don’t want to look too far ahead. But, obviously, winning championships is what it is about. That is what the league is all about and hopefully at the end of the road, then I have the Cavs there actually to compete for one, to be in The Finals representing the East.

“So, that’s my goal. Getting back. I’m looking forward to getting back with the guys. I know they’re excited, and that is going to be our mindset. But we’ll see what happens.”

5 Comments on "Exec: Lakers may have helped Cavs keep LeBron"

  1. LeBron wants 3 things.

    1. He wants to win 3 more rings.

    2. He wants to get paid.

    3. He wants someone else to guard Kevin Durant in the playoffs.

    Going to the Lakers makes #1 harder. Who thinks Bron and Paul and Ball are going to get past Houston or GS?

    Cleveland can pay the Super Max that he and CP just changed in the Collective Bargaining agreement.

    Larry Nance, Jr.

  2. I never thought he was leaving the last time. I keep going back to wanting his kids to play ball in his gym, but who knows. I did read one article that quoted one of his close friends (don’t remember which one) that said the Cavs will have to make a major move this summer for him to stay. I’m still thinking they could trade Love and sign Paul George. I would prefer keeping with the youth movement and trade the Brooklyn pick for a young up and coming or established star ex Gordon/McCollum/Murray etc.

    • I am right there with you about LeBron wanting his kids to play high school ball in LeBron James Gymnasium. And I sure can’t envision him leaving his kids in Akron while he goes to LA, Houston, or some other far off place. That said … well, who knows?? Haha. Thanks for reading/commenting! – Sam

  3. The major problem with what this NBA exec is saying is that the Cavs now have a massive salary cap issue for next season. What is it? Only 9 contracted players for next season and the salary cap for those 9 is pushing $140 mil with no Rodney Hood or Jeff Green. The Cavs, and Altman, absolutely have to trade at least two of Kevin Love, George Hill, TT and JR Smith in the summer. I absolutely think Jeff Green deserves a new contract and I absolutely believe getting Rodney Hood signed up long term is a must.

  4. Bill Adams nailed it with this statement. This is something the national media hardly ever brings up.

    Cleveland can pay the Super Max that he and CP just changed in the Collective Bargaining agreement.

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