The Cavaliers have been relatively quiet so far in free agency -- they agreed to a deal veteran point guard Jose Calderon and are rumored to be shopping Iman Shumpert, but that's about it.
Conspicuously sitting on the sidelines watching the action (or lack thereof) is LeBron James, who according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin is not actively recruiting any of Cleveland's free agent targets. From ESPN:
LeBron James is not actively recruiting on behalf of the Cavs as the franchise zeroes in on its top free-agent targets, a league source told ESPN on Saturday.
James is spending the weekend in Alabama attending the wedding of Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe. James and Bledsoe share an agent in Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. Paul is also attending the wedding, as are Bledsoe's fellow Kentucky Wildcat alumni John Wall of the Wizards, who also is a Klutch client, and DeMarcus Cousins of the Pelicans, among others.
The choice by James to be a bystander comes at a fragile time for the team, which is navigating free agency without a general manager in place after parting ways with David Griffin nearly two weeks ago. Assistant GM Koby Altman has been elevated to de facto interim GM while Cleveland continues to negotiate with Chauncey Billups to accept a position to run the front office.
McMenamin also notes how this is quite the opposite of how James has behaved in previous offseasons.
James' approach is a departure from his conduct in the past. He has actively pitched players on coming to play in Cleveland, including his pivotal poolside meeting with Kevin Love in Los Angeles in the summer of 2015 that led to Love's re-signing and James' calls to veterans such as Mike Miller and James Jones that were instrumental in those players' wanting to join the Cavs at a discount.
The Cavs have been reported to have interest in free agent Zach Randolph, who would likely take some serious persuading to get him to turn down significantly more lucrative offers to sign with Cleveland.
The report says it's unclear whether LeBron is intentionally keeping a low profile due to the Cavs' inability to come to terms with former general manager David Griffin, but James was clearly a Griffin supporter.
If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland! Thanks for what u did for the team for 3 yrs! We got us 1🏆— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 20, 2017
The Cavs are operating with little salary cap room this offseason, making it difficult to land high impact free agents. Whether LeBron will take a more active role in recruiting as the summer goes on remains to be seen.