All signs point to leaving if you’re LeBron James. From admitting he wasn’t thinking about playing in the Finals this year, to playing in those Finals with a broken hand and bum foot just to try to avoid a sweep, all in vain.
There are a few possible moves that the Cavs could make that would keep the King around for a few more years will not just save LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers this summer but they will create a superteam to beat the Golden State Warriors.
5. Clear The Cap Space
The Cavs could clean house and trade away J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, Kyle Korver, Jordan Clarkson, and George Hill for veteran contracts that aren’t too expensive or for draft picks to rebuild.
This postseason has shown that those players can’t really help James compete when they need to.
If they can trade all of them, Cavaliers will save almost $74 million on the salary cap and they can use this to sign free agents this summer.
4. Kawhi Leonard
Trade package: Kevin Love, 8th pick, Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic
A lineup that holds Kawhi at the two and LeBron at the three would present a big challenge for many teams in the league, even the Warriors with Thompson and Durant at those positions.
The Cleveland Cavaliers could use Kawhi Leonard to get LeBron James to stay on board, and that kind of 1-2 punch would definitely dominate the East for years, even with the Celtics, Pacers and Sixers surging as young forces.
Kevin Love would be great paired with LaMarcus Aldridge, while they could have the chance to draft Wendell Carter Jr, Mo Bamba or Mikal Bridges at 8th, and Popovich would definitely be tempted to give it a go to this deal.
3. Paul George
A little problem that the Cavs face with signing George is their limited cap space. Because of that, LeBron or George would need to take a pay cut. It wouldn’t really make sense for George to, he has a number of different options that would pay him and offer him a talented supporting cast, so James would have to.
They’d also need to trade away a player like Smith, Clarkson, or Hill. While stars like Duncan and Dirk have taken pay cuts to help their team win, there haven’t really been any signs the LeBron would be interested in that. It would certainly be exciting to watch the Cavs try to convince him to though.
2. DeMarcus Cousins
A frontcourt of James, Kawhi, and Cousins is very promising at first glace and would prove a big challenge for the Warriors, who don’t have a strong presence at the four or five. That’s something that’s very compelling to LeBron.
Signing Cousins, who’s always had high praise for the King and vice versa, would be the best way to keep James happy and most likely make yet another trip to at least the Eastern Conference Finals.
Cousins needs to take a pay cut (like Paul George and LeBron James) but that will be a small price if he wants to beat the Golden State Warriors and win the NBA Championship.
1. LeBron James And Superteam
First, the Cavs would need to clean house. Get rid of all the other players on the roster except for Love and a few low salaries.
Then, trade Kevin Love and 8th pick for Kawhi Leonard.
Next, sign Cousins. He will probably accept a pay cut so the Cavaliers could sign Paul George.
Then, sign George. If he sees a possible four of James, him, Kawhi, and Cousins; it will be hard for him to say no.
This would give you a starting lineup of Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins. A super team if there ever was one. This team would be a runaway favorite for the championship and they would also be a threat to break the Golden State Warriors 73 win record.