Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

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Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by bobheckler on Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:40 am

http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/20180607/scott-souza-courting-lebron-comes-at-high-cost-for-celtics



Scott Souza: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics




By Scott Souza / The MetroWest Daily News
Posted Jun 7, 2018 at 6:34 PM  



Would you sell your soul for a King?

That is the question many Celtics fans are asking themselves — and the one the team may have to carefully consider — after ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on Wednesday that Boston is one of seven NBA franchises LeBron James will consider meeting with when he hits free agency on July 1.

King James is the greatest player of his generation. He just about single-handedly crushed Boston’s hopes of completing one of the most improbable NBA Finals runs in league history when he played 94 of the final 96 minutes of the Eastern Conference finals. And he has, thus far, resisted any temptation to revert to old habits and pack it in when the going got tough down 2-0 and 3-2 to the Celtics, and down 3-0 in the NBA Finals in an apparent hopeless bid to unseat the reigning champion Golden State Warriors.

King James would make the Celtics an instant NBA title favorite next year and firmly plant Boston as the center of the basketball universe for as long as he wore green.

Yet, all of the attention, glory and even the potential titles, every last bit of it, comes at a price. That price being not only what you would have to give up on what could already be a championship-quality roster to free salary cap room to sign James, but also the price of turning over everything you have built, cultivated and planned for so patiently to the whims of a player who instantly makes absolutely everything within his massive gravitational pull about him at all times.

It is what helped drive Kyrie Irving out of Cleveland. It is why no young player has ever substantially developed around James in his career. It is how he has largely rendered the coaches around him useless and disposable. It is the reason why every team he has ever departed has been left in shambles in his wake.

It is a heavy price to pay.

It is that proverbial crossroads the Celtics will find themselves approaching if they even pursue the idea of entertaining James and his — theoretical, anyway — willingness to consider Boston as his next NBA home.

While no one outside of Irving knows the true nature of his relationship with James, and why he pushed for a divorce between perhaps the best one-two combination in the game (with all due respect to Steph Curry and Kevin Durant) last year, the one thing that Irving made clear upon his trade to Boston was his fundamental opposition to a world that revolves around one player.


He said in his introductory press conference he was in search of “something bigger than myself” as an “evolving 25-year-old man,” and asked “Is there ever such thing as one person carrying the whole team? I don’t think so.”

While times and relationships change, it seems difficult to imagine a reconciliation where Irving would welcome playing in that inevitable and unavoidable shadow again. Would the one-in-seven (at best) chance James might ultimately choose Boston be worth jeopardizing in any way the team’s relationship with its foundational star?

Beyond alienating, or being forced to jettison, Irving, the Celtics would also likely have to move on from one of their maximum-salary players in Gordon Hayward or Al Horford, and turn potentially dynamic future stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum into one-dimensional shooters whose growth is subjugated to catering to all things King James all the time.

Brad Stevens would surely love to devise the thousands of different ways in which he could utilize his magnificent and enduring talents. Yet, you would risk James taking all those meticulously concocted game plans and encyclopedia of ATOs and turn them into polite suggestions from that nice young fellow in the suit at the end of the bench.

You would do it all in a scenario where there would almost certainly be contract options that allowed him to leave after one or two years. He will have then done it three times already — including twice from his beloved Northeast Ohio home — so there is little reason to think he would not do it to you sooner rather than later.

Could it work? Sure. Would it be entertaining? Most definitely.

But the risk of pursuing a King is that you do so knowing you will be expected to surrender the castle and bend the knee.

You not only need to turn over the treasure necessary to do the deal, you have to be willing to turn over a whole lot of yourself in the process.



bob



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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by dboss on Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:11 am

I just do not see this happening.

It really defies logic. Danny parts with significant assets to trade for Kyrie. Kyrie wants out of Cleveland so that he is not standing in the shadow of Lebron James and Danny goes after Lebron?

Really?

I can see that this is going to be a summer filled with tons of horse manure.



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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by NYCelt on Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:42 am

dboss wrote:I just do not see this happening.

It really defies logic.  Danny parts with significant assets to trade for Kyrie.  Kyrie wants out of Cleveland so that he is not standing in the shadow of Lebron James and Danny goes after Lebron?

Really?

I can see that this is going to be a summer filled with tons of horse manure.




Agree.

It would almost have to take a major roster overhaul and a win now strategy. Since the roster has been built young and for the long haul, this would be a total turn-around. I could see a deal for a better draft pick or pursuit of other free agents, but not this.

Can't hurt to talk with him, that part is free and keeps the opposition guessing. Give him some nice Celtic t-shirts for his kids on his way out, and move on.

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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by mulcogiseng on Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:37 am

I'd be willing to wait until he is a free agent and then offer him the vet minimum for a chance to hang banners. Laughing
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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by gyso on Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:41 am

mulcogiseng wrote:I'd be willing to wait until he is a free agent and then offer him the vet minimum for a chance to hang banners. Laughing

Nice option, but unrealistic. LeBron wants to be a billionaire and own a team in the future. Trading the vet min for more chances at rings doesn't pave the way to that goal.

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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by kdp59 on Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:57 pm

Jesus, could the writer be any more anti-LeBron?

I get it people always hate the best player in any sport (except when they play for YOUR team). Its why Brady is commonly called the biggest cheater and Billicheat is called out on most patriots away games.

Maybe I just look at things differently or something. but I enjoy watching the elites in sports do what they do, without hating them or trying to make them look bad with badly written pieces of drivel.

I kind of feel bad fo the writer that he cannot just enjoy the greatness , without trying to drag him down. But it IS what many do.

LeBron likely won't come here, for a variety of reasons, but if he would 99% of all Celtics would cheer him on if so and HAPPILY enjoy any Championships HE would help bring here.




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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:50 pm

Anti LeBron or pro Celtic????

Dboss....I am with you all the way. This is going to be the summer that every sports writer dreams about. How to write a story that people will read, believe and
to make up stories that people will read, believe and talk about all summer long. It is getting harder and harder to take anyone seriously.
Mannix, Blakely, even Simmons and Shaurnessey. All the beat writers, and of course the idiots on the Celtics channel. Everyone has an opinion. Who can sell it best and be right????? Even Mike Gorman dropping by with his opinion.

We had better get used to this, it will go on until the draft is over and free agency comes and all the "stars" are gone. Then we have to sit back and worry about trades until the season starts.

So sit back everyone, this might be a bumpy ride, or a smooth one depending on what Danny has in store for this team.
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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by gyso on Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:40 pm

kdp59 wrote:Jesus, could the writer be any more anti-LeBron?

I get it people always hate the best player in any sport (except when they play for YOUR team). Its why Brady is commonly called the biggest cheater and Billicheat is called out on most patriots away games.

Maybe I just look at things differently or something. but I enjoy watching the elites in sports do what they do, without hating them or trying to make them look bad with badly written pieces of drivel.

I kind of feel bad fo the writer that he cannot just enjoy the greatness , without trying to drag him down. But it IS what many do.

LeBron likely won't come here, for a variety of reasons, but if he would 99% of all Celtics would cheer him on if so and HAPPILY enjoy any Championships HE would help bring here.


I'll agree with perhaps the majority of all Celtics fans, but 99% it a bit high. affraid

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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by kdp59 on Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:57 pm

OK

92.3%

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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by swish on Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:35 pm

kdp59 wrote:Jesus, could the writer be any more anti-LeBron?

I get it people always hate the best player in any sport (except when they play for YOUR team). Its why Brady is commonly called the biggest cheater and Billicheat is called out on most patriots away games.

Maybe I just look at things differently or something. but I enjoy watching the elites in sports do what they do, without hating them or trying to make them look bad with badly written pieces of drivel.

I kind of feel bad fo the writer that he cannot just enjoy the greatness , without trying to drag him down. But it IS what many do.

LeBron likely won't come here, for a variety of reasons, but if he would 99% of all Celtics would cheer him on if so and HAPPILY enjoy any Championships HE would help bring here.





kdp59

Hometown bias seems to me, to dampen a lot of enjoyment that can be gained by appreciating the great performances of visiting stars - Remember how the boos turned to cheers when Shaq signed on with the Celtics. Even the word hate is used on occasion on this board when expressing feelings towards other team players. Lighten up.

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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by steve3344 on Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:48 pm

If he'd be willing to accept the MLE he gets my vote.

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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:13 pm

I wish free agency was tonight, I don't think I am going to be able to listen to the Boston idiots going back and forth on this topic.  Of course Draper, the LeBron lover, is dying for this to happen.
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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by wideclyde on Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:16 pm

There is no way that Ainge could trade for James as he would have to gut the core of the team to match salaries, and he would have to trade some of its better players to even sign him as a free agent.

The owners may be willing to pay luxury tax, but I doubt that they want to pay the amount that it will take to sign James and keep the rest of the team's core to stay and play with him.

James will not sign with Boston if he thinks that Hayward, Irving, Tatum, Brown, Horford, etc get tossed off the roster and guys like Olejeye, Larkin and Yabusele are going to be starters around him.

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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by NYCelt on Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:15 pm

wideclyde wrote:There is no way that Ainge could trade for James as he would have to gut the core of the team to match salaries, and he would have to trade some of its better players to even sign him as a free agent.

The owners may be willing to pay luxury tax, but I doubt that they want to pay the amount that it will take to sign James and keep the rest of the team's core to stay and play with him.

James will not sign with Boston if he thinks that Hayward, Irving, Tatum, Brown, Horford, etc get tossed off the roster and guys like Olejeye, Larkin and Yabusele are going to be starters around him.

I think you're probably right on target here.
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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by mrkleen09 on Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:25 pm

No thanks. Keep walking buddy, not enough class or respect for your teammates and coaches to wear green.
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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by dboss on Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:29 pm

I have already stated that I do not see a deal for Lebron happening but since I have nothing better to do I would like to take a shot at playing the devil's advocate.

I am not so sure that Boston would have to gut out their team to get Lebron.  Here's why.

The Cavs have 3 potential scenarios to consider:

Lebron opts out of his $35,607,989 and resigns an extension.

Lebron wants to play for a team but because of the CAP a sign and trade would be required.  Cleveland would get back assets.

Lebron opts out and signs as a free agent with another team and Cleveland gets zero compensation.

Option 1 is the best case for Cleveland, option 3 is worse case scenario because they get nothing in eturn.  Option 2 while not the best option at least gives them something in return.

How could Boston make this happen.

If Lebron wants to join the Celtics because he sees a pathway to another championship that is unlikely to happen in Cleveland he can influence what the Cavs are willing to accept.

The Celtics could offer Gordon Hayward and his $31,214,295 contract to cover the bulk of the salary match.  The Celtics could throw in a first round pick to sweeten the deal and another rotation player.

Lebron would have to opt out and then resign a new deal with Cleveland and if he really wants to join the Celtics I would expect him to be willing to take less money.  Lebron made an estimated $86 million in 2017.  His basketball salary is not his primary source of income.  His net worth according to Forbes is in the $400 million range.

The Celtics are not trading jaylen or Jayson becuase # 1 their salaries are too low to make a dent in a salary match situation and #2 the reason why Lebron would want to come to Boston is because of young ballers like Jaylen and Jayso.

Cleveland has little leverage here.  If they do not like what they are getting back there is nothing they can do about it.  Lebron could say FY and sign with Boston on a one year deal for the MLE and Cleveland would get nothing.  Or Maybe Lebron signs with a team that has the CAP space and no sign and trade is on the table.

Cleveland's best bet is to agree with a sign and trade.  If Lebron was good for $35 mill Boston would only be adding $4 million to the payroll.  Cut some of the partially guaranteed guys and your are there.  Make the deal for James first and then resign Smart

Of all of the teams in the East, Boston is clearly positioned for multiple runs at the title.

Put Lebron on the Celtics and keep most of the core in tact and you have GSW+ talent.

Starting Five:  Horford, James, Tatum, Brown and Irving.
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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:41 pm

I wish this story would just go away. I do not have any desire to even waste space in my brain for this story.

These are just my feelings, I know there are some here who would love this move. But in the meantime, the entire rebuild would almost be dismantled for what????? I would much rather take pride in watching our team grow together
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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by k_j_88 on Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:43 pm

I feel like the acquisition of James would marginalize Kyrie Irving's presence. Lebron's shadow essentially is cast over an entire organization. Kyrie, a star in his own right, was overshadowed. It didn't take long as more details came out why he wanted out of Cleveland. Let's not forget he signed his extension with the Cavs before Lebron showed up. Kyrie fell into the Celtics' lap at a very, very opportune time. Thus, we were able to upgrade the roster instantly and we've seen the results.

The way I see it, there are 5 potential landing spots.


1. Cleveland:

Lebron has the option to stand pat and see what happens. A lot of people presume he'll leave because of the Cavs' perceived talent gap in comparison to the Warriors. Championship or bust seems to be the mentality, and despite the Cavs unimpressive roster, they did make it to the Finals. James also stands to make $205M/5 years, or $41M a year, the largest contract that any team can offer him.

If the Cavs can find a way to make some moves, they can remain competitive in the East. But they have a number of bad contracts which won't be easy to get rid of.

Cavs estimated salary cap obligations: $139.5M


2. Houston:

The Rockets were a CP3 hamstring away from potentially knocking off the Warriors. They came damn close. As it turns out, James Harden is who we thought he was, a fraud. He's a scorer, but he's not the man. However, Lebron presents a potential run to get them over the top. They can offer him $152M/4 years at $38M/year.

Because of how the CBA works, the Rockets would first have to sign Lebron and then Chris Paul after in order to make the numbers work.

Rockets estimated salary cap obligations: $78.8M


3. Philadelphia

The Sixers are young, talented, and have plenty of caps space and are probably the only team outside of Cleveland that could easily sign Lebron without serious number-crunching. The only thing is, they already have Ben Simmons, who plays a similar position to Lebron. Plus they drafted Fultz, another PG. It seems like a complicated roster situation but James would definitely elevate this team into a contender.


Sixers estimated salary cap obligations: $70.4M


4. San Antonio

Probably a dark horse, but Pop reportedly had said he'd court James. The estimated cap is $101M so players like Danny Green and Rudy Gay could become expendable if cap space is to be cleared. Lebron, Kawhi (if healthy), and Aldridge would be an intriguing group.


Spurs estimated salary cap obligations: $98M



5. Lakers


Lakers don't have much other than a ton of cap space. They have some young talent but are still years away from being serious contenders. They'd obviously have to court another star (Paul George and/or Chris Paul) to convince Lebron to hit the west coast. LBJ, PG13, and CP3 would be another interesting group. Though how would this impact players like Lonzo Ball, Kuzma, and Ingram?



Lakers estimated salary cap obligations: $39.1M



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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by gyso on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:30 pm

Is New Orleans a possible landing spot? Sign and trade swap, LeBron for Cousins? Some other combination to trade for LeBron and still sign Cousins?

There's a pretty good base; Davis, LeBron and Cousins. Add Holiday and Rondo, who knows?


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Re: Courting LeBron comes at high cost for Celtics

Post by dboss on Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:54 pm

gyso wrote:Is New Orleans a possible landing spot?  Sign and trade swap, LeBron for Cousins?  Some other combination to trade for LeBron and still sign Cousins?

There's a pretty good base; Davis, LeBron and Cousins.  Add Holiday and Rondo, who knows?

Cousins who is an UFA would need to want to play in Cleveland.  I do not see that happening.

I think James ends up in LA but only if another allstar level player signs there too.  I saw a rumor that LAL are also interested in Cousins.
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