Grant, Cavs feel good about meeting with LeBron
And now the guessing game begins.
LeBron James, the most sought-after free agent in NBA history, has met with all six free-agent suitors. He left the IMG building on Saturday afternoon and will now sit back to make his decision.
Some think his verdict could come as early as Monday, but that might not be the case. But it probably won’t drag out to Tom Izzo-like proportions.
Many think James will sign a three-year deal with the Cavs. But the possibility remains that he could sign elsewhere for fewer dollars. Players rarely leave money on the table.
It certainly appears like he’s leaning toward returning to his hometown team. Of course, it appeared as if Brian Shaw was going to be hired as the Cavs coach just a few short days ago, too, before things broke down. It was at that time Byron Scott swooped in and took the job.
The possible deal-breaker for the Cavs could be the hiring of Scott on Thursday. He seems like a coach who would appeal to James on many different levels. The two-time MVP should flourish in Scott’s up-tempo style.
And he’s not alone. With apologies to Bruce Springsteen, Mo Williams, J.J. Hickson, Anderson Varejao and Antawn Jamison are born to run.
“We just hired Byron Scott,” Cavs general manager Chris Grant said after their meeting with James. “He’s a proven winner as a player and a coach. We’re very excited about that.”
The Cavs certainly have a lot of work to do reshaping the roster in order to be a contender again. This team probably has one big move in it, and will be making trade offers for players like Chris Bosh and Chris Paul.
“We’ve done some amazing things in the last five years,” said Grant, who grew up in South Lake Tahoe. “We’ve won a lot of games. We’ve gone deep into the playoffs. We’re not satisfied with anything we’re doing.
“We’ll continue to make improvements and make upgrades to our roster as we move forward. This is the time of year we’ll do those things.”
James capped off three days of high-level meeting on Saturday by talking to the Bulls and the Cavs.
The Cavs appealed to his apparent interest in staying in Northeast Ohio, where he’s lived his entire live. He’s also played all seven seasons with the Cavs.
The other five teams gave him reasons why he should leave. What James might have been looking for was a legitimate reason why he shouldn’t stay. Whether he heard that from one of the other teams is not known. James was more of a listener with the other teams and watched some of the elaborate power-point productions.
The Cavs brought owner Dan Gilbert, Assistant GM Lance Blanks, Grant and Scott to the meeting with James.
“We had a very good meeting with LeBron and his group,” Grant said. “It went well. We had a good time. It was fun. It was interactive.
“Obviously, we know LeBron well. I would characterize it as positive.”
Instead of going on an elaborate tour, which was the original plan, he chose to stay in Cleveland.
“We think it’s pretty incredible that LeBron chose to have these meetings in Cleveland, at his home,” Grant said. “We want to thank the fans for the unbelievable turnout and support from our city. I’m very proud of that.”
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