Blog Entry

Monday Shootaround

Posted on: December 22, 2008 11:04 am
Edited on: December 22, 2008 11:04 am

We open the week with the genius of LeBron James, according to Tom Ziller. I agree, but don't think LBJ's flirtation with 2010 is over. Far from it. Even Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who coaxed the extension talk out of LeBron, realizes this is just another piece of the puzzle. B-Win offered these two key observations: 1. LeBron remains in love with being the center of attention with regard to his impending free agency; and 2. "There are many, many more twists and turns to come."

A lot can happen between now and this summer, when LeBron has the opportunity to sign another three-year extension. If he chooses, he can continue signing three-year extensions until the cows come home, constantly motivating the Cavs' front office to put championship-caliber talent around him. It's a viable option, until you consider this: If LeBron were to sign a three-year extension in '09, he would need to sign his next deal under whatever rules are negotiated in the new collective bargaining agreement; the current one expires in 2011. As we've pointed out numerous times here, any of these top-tier potential free agents would be wise to sign a long-term deal under the current rules -- either with their current teams or new ones. There is a growing feeling among ownership that salaries have to be scaled back under the next agreement, and the cratering economy has only reinforced the notion. Although attendance is holding steady league-wide, the NBA Players Association is carefully monitoring what it expects will be flat-to-declining revenues over the next two seasons. If revenue slips more than expected, the pool of money available for player salaries will shrink.

This is one of many issues LeBron will consider this summer when he decides whether to sign another short-term extension. And it is one of many issues he will consider on June 30, 2010 if he doesn't extend. So all of the teams that have aggressively begun clearing cap space haven't done it for naught. SLAM Online says LeBron is just playin' us. In The New York Times, Howard Beck writes that there are plenty of reasons to get under the cap, and they're not all named LeBron.

Another key aspect LeBron will consider: Do the Cavs use some of their generous cap space to sign a top-tier running mate for LeBron -- Carlos Boozer in '09 or Chris Bosh in '10? Ah, so many story lines, so many delicious angles for LeBron to consider and exploit as he holds the entire NBA in the palm of his hand.

Here's the rest of your Morning Shoot:

* A Chinese magazine says Yi Jianlian lied about his age. Yeah, but how does this explain his aversion to finishing strong at the rim?

* Love this line from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News: "Like the Lions, the Pistons remain perfect on Sunday -- perfectly winless, 0-6."

* Yes, it's time to include Orlando (21-6) in the discussion of elite teams. The Magic have toppled the Spurs and Lakers back-to-back, and a win over Golden State (hah!) Monday night would equal the best 28-game start in franchise history. Right at the heart of Orlando's recent success has been point guard Jameer Nelson. I've always said Orlando would be scary with a real point guard, and evidently Nelson has started to become one of those. Meanwhile, the Magic kind of like the fact that nobody is noticing them.

* Bright Side of the Sun looks at the point guards auditioning for Phoenix on Monday, and hints there could be another audition if a "veteran point guard gets bought out." Oh, dear.

* BallerBlogger says the Cavs have what it takes to win a title.

* Patrick Ewing Jr., now coming off the bench for the D-League's Reno BigHorns, was scoreless (0-for-6 FGs) with three rebounds on Sunday.

* Brian Cuban defends his brother's decision to trade Devin Harris for Jason Kidd.

That's all. Enjoy the Raptors and Clippers Monday night on NBA TV.

Category: NBA

Since: Oct 28, 2007
Posted on: December 23, 2008 9:08 am

Monday Shootaround

Brian Windhorst asking Lebron about his contract/free agency options was no different ('coaxed') than what the national writers were doing last month when they asked Lebron about 2010. In fact, I think the national writers were more shameless in asking the same question 100 different ways so they could publish non-stories about a guy (lebron) who's always said he'll 'evaluate all his options in 2010.' You have to realize that the nyc readers are starved for hoops (knicks and nets are horrible) and these sort of tantalizing stories energize an otherwise de-motivated fan-base.

Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: December 22, 2008 7:54 pm

Monday Shootaround

LeBron is playin the league, the team , the fans and I love his music.  He will ensure the Cavs front Office brings a good supporting cast around him.  All star players enjoy playing w/other All Stars and Chris Bosch is one of his teammates from the Olympic Team that I would love to see in a Cavs uniform.  I wouldn't let Boozer in the gym if I was in charge.  There are no other All Stars on this years Cavs team other than King James.  His fellow starters, Ilgauskas, Mo williams, Big Ben, and Wally are a good support cast, (although Big Z is having an All Star start to this year) but none are All Star caliber.  If Danny Ferry can make some good deals as he already has, the Cavs will be LeBron's team for a long time.  Boston has 3 All Stars and possibly an alternate w/Rondo having such a good start.  The Cavs took the Celts to 7 games last year in the Conference finals and I see 2 very much improved teams this year.  It will be good basketball and a great season in the Eastern conference. 

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