With the Celtics making strides to compete with Cleveland in the Eastern Conference, it appears the league’s top player isn’t exactly thrilled with the Cavaliers’ summer efforts.
A person close to the situation told USA Today that LeBron James is “concerned about the Cavaliers’ offseason,” which has seen owner Dan Gilbert gut the front office. James notably sent a tweet that could easily be interpreted as a shot at the organization for not bringing back general manager David Griffin.
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 team courted Chauncey Billups to be Griffin’s replacement, but the longtime NBA point guard declined to take the job. The Celtics, meanwhile, added Gordon Hayward in free agency and selected Jayson Tatum with the third overall pick in the draft.
Now James, who can be a free agent after next season, is reportedly “frustrated,” per USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt.
Expecting an aggressive offseason approach that would close the gap on the champion Golden State Warriors, James soon found his anticipation and optimism diminished after Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert dismantled the front office, declining days before the draft and free agency to bring back general manager David Griffin and vice president of basketball operations Trent Redden.
Gilbert’s decision left the Cavs without the franchise’s top two front-office execs at a critical time, and it left James frustrated and concerned about the team’s ability to put together a roster that can better compete with Golden State, the person with direct knowledge of James’ thinking told USA TODAY Sports. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.
Zillgitt adds that James’ impending free agency, which could take him to Los Angeles, leaves the Cavaliers aware that “franchise-altering consequences are at stake.”