The Cleveland Cavaliers underwent a massive makeover Thursday prior to the NBA trade deadline, but that doesn’t mean LeBron James is ready to finish his career in Cleveland.
The Cavs jettisoned half of their roster Thursday in an attempt to create one that could compete for an NBA title this season, and they reportedly did so without assurances from their star forward that he would be willing to opt into the final year of his deal and stay in Cleveland for the 2018-19 season and beyond.
Cleveland acquired Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, George Hill and Larry Nance Jr. in three separate deals Thursday, and sent Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder, Iman Shumpert, Derrick Rose and Channing Frye off the roster.
Rumors have swirled around James’ potential moves this summer, with the Los Angeles Lakers, who cleared room for two max contracts by acquiring Thomas and Frye, leading the reported suitors along with the Houston Rockets.
As for the Cavs’ 2018 title hopes, their roster got younger, more versatile and better defensively Thursday, with their best move coming via subtraction, as Thomas and James clearly didn’t gel the way Cleveland had hoped they would.
Will it be enough to win a title in what could be James’ final season in The Land? It’s doubtful, but they certainly look more dangerous than they did 24 hours ago.
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