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There are many opinions on what the Cleveland Cavaliers need to do to improve the roster and help convince LeBron James to continue to call Northeast Ohio his basketball home.
According to NBA insider Ian Begley of ESPN, what Cleveland must do to make that happen is clear.
“I just think you have to trade for a point guard who can make things easier for everybody on the court, including LeBron,” Begley said while appearing on The Bull and Fox Show on 92.3 The Fan.
Begley has a guy in mind, too, and he’s an All-Star.
“Kemba Walker was dangled by Charlotte before the trade deadline,” he said. “If you could somehow land a player like him in a trade prior to the draft … shortly after the draft, I certainly think that would impact LeBron’s thinking.”
Our Sam Amico in his terrific “Dribbles” column mentioned Walker, specifically, Monday night.
With the draft on tap Thursday night. the Cavaliers have the eighth overall selection, originally owned by the Brooklyn Nets and acquired from the Boston Celtics on Aug. 22 as part of blockbuster deal that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston.
Begley doesn’t see Cleveland being able to select a player with that pick that would move the needle for James and what he’s thinking. James has a $35.6 million player option and he must inform the Cavaliers whether he’s picking it up or not by 11:59 p.m. on June 29.
“I don’t think there’s a player that Cleveland could take in the draft that LeBron says, ‘Oh my goodness, I have to play with this guy. I have to re-sign with the Cavs,'” Begley said.
Which means the trade market is the best avenue for the Cavaliers to get where they need to go, Begley said.
“I think there are players available via the trade market that would really entice LeBron to stick around,” he said.
Meaning Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman, assistant GM Mike Gansey and their staff are burning up the phone lines.
“I have to think that Koby Altman is working hard right now to try to put something together to make an impact,” Begley said. “It’s not just that draft pick, that first-round pick. But it’s an additional move, a trade that lands a strong contributor on that Cavs roster.”
Not that it will be a non-perilous trail to blaze for Cleveland, though.
“It’s just such a tricky to position to be in, though. I feel for the management team over there,” Begley said. “Just because there’s so much uncertainty. How do you make a potentially franchise-altering transaction without knowing what LeBron is going to do?
“So, (it’s) certainly not an easy position for Koby Altman and those guys to be in and I don’t envy them.”