"We still got a couple more things we need to do," James said Friday, when asked if Cleveland's pending trade with Atlanta for Korver was a "championship move."
"We gotta get a point guard," James said. "It's my last time saying it. We need a point guard."James also said he'd like the Cavs to add another big man, but "there's not many bigs out there ... we'll see what happens."
James has been talking about needing a point guard for some time. Mo Williams retired and Matthew Dellavedova took off in free agency. The Cavs thought they might be OK with Jordan McCrae and Kay Felder, but neither have earned consistent playing time, or James' trust, it seems.
Some thoughts on James' comments:
1. He's not wrong. They need to not have to rely on playing Kyrie Irving long minutes. He has shown a propensity for injury and is the second-most important player on the team. They need experience and length. Basically, they need Shaun Livingston, but I don't think the Warriors are going to be interested in sending him to Cleveland.
2. It's important to note that while the Korver deal is smart (should it go through), and opportunistic, at its core it's really just a replacement for Mike Dunleavy. The Cavs acquired Dunleavy in the summer but he has been unable to get on the floor for age and injury reasons, so Cleveland just swapped him out for Korver. The move doesn't really resolve any of their major issues, and it only augments a strength. This was already one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the league; they set the record for most made threes in a playoff game last year with 25 vs. the Hawks. It's not like they needed another shooter, though Korver is an upgrade, and a good addition.
3. The Cavs' most likely target for actual upgrades are in free agency of waived veterans. Jarrett Jack's available now, and the Cavs can wait until after the trade deadline when teams start negotiating buyouts for their veterans. Deron Williams, for example, is on a $9 million expiring contract with the Mavericks. There's been no indication that the Mavs intend to let him go or that Williams is seeking a buyout, but that's the kind of player and scenario that could work out in Cleveland's favor. They are low on assets to go get a real upgrade at backup, but then, they just got Korver for nickels.
4. The big-man problem is equally tough. It's not hard to see a big getting cut, but again, who are the Cavs going to deal to find one? There are even fewer of those guys available for what the Cavs have, as James mentioned. There are a bunch of high-priced, in-their-prime centers available, but no one in the Cavs' price range in assets of cap space.
5. There's a lot jokes made about James being GM. Both James and Cavs management have rejected this premise prominently, but they've also admitted he's "involved." James making these comments make it seem like he gets the final say. That's not to discredit the work that GM David Griffin does; he's been terrific, including the Korver deal. But James isn't so much saying what they're going to do as indicating publicly what his expectations are. That's been his role in the past, from saying they needed to re-sign Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith to potential free agency acquisitions. He makes it clear that to keep him happy, the team needs to do certain things.
Because if LeBron's not happy, nobody's happy.