Monday, June 01, 2009
If the Cavaliers loss in the Eastern Conference finals proved one thing its that Lebron James just like everybody else needs a wingman. Despite being the best player on the planet, he needs a teammate that can pick up some of the slack and take some of the burden off of his shoulders. The entire Cavaliers roster from Mo Williams to Delonte West to Anderson Varejao and beyond proved this past week that they are not up to the task. So that begs the question, whats next?
The Cavs have a difficult tight rope to travel over the next 16 or so months. With Lebron James becoming a free agent in roughly 12 months, they need to do everything under their power to convince him to stay in Cleveland. To convince LBJ they need to A) Not have a devastating decline in the 09-10 season, B) Provide LBJ proof that championships can be had in Cleveland either now or in the future. Of these two, B is vastly more important.
First off how do the Cavaliers proceed heading into this offseason. Their biggest decision is how do they handle Varejao. He's the one player currently on their roster heading into free agency that requires a decision. Do the Cavs give him money to try to continue with the core that won 66 games or do they let him leave and position themselves for more cap flexibility.
Assuming Lebron does not take his player option, the Cavs are currently slated to have just 19$ million dollars of contracts on the books in 2010. The contracts on the books are Delonte, Mo and Booby aka the current back court rotation. Assuming they don't go out and spend a bunch of money this offseason, the Cavs would be aligned to make a significant run at any number of prized 2010 free agents and potentially two if the cards are played absolutely right. Could you imagine the potency of an LBJ, Joe Johnson, Chris Bosh and Mo Williams threesome?
We now know that Lebron needs help. It's just a matter of can Cleveland provide the help, or will Lebron go out and find it himself?