Blogtable: Say LBJ goes to Cleveland …

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: Idle summertime chatter | LeBron + Cavs = ??? | The Good & Bad of ‘Melo in NY



VIDEO: Four years later, former NBA exec Stu Jackson reflects on “The Decision”

> There are a lot of “ifs” to consider, but IF LeBron goes back to Cleveland, are the Cavs really good enough to win the East?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comI like the idea of LeBron going back to Cleveland and leading all that potential and raw talent to the top of the East standings. The roster now looks better to me than the crew that won 66 games in 2008-09. Several of the Cavs would get better almost overnight from the defensive attention paid to James. What would they be lacking? A savvy veteran backcourt player would help. Also: Bubble-wrap for Anderson Varejao to keep him healthy.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: If he were to go back to Cleveland, it obviously means the best team in the East has broken up. The Cavs would lack overall experience, cohesion and any real clue what it takes to get though the playoffs.  But hey, they’d have LeBron and a puncher’s chance.  He’s taken a team with less raw talent to The Finals in 2007.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.comOnly because the East is so weak, the answer is yes. It would take Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao to stay healthy — and that’s never a given — and for last year’s No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett to contribute. They could use a knock-down 3-point shooter or two. You figure a LeBron-less Miami falls out and Indiana might not have Lance Stephenson plus they’ve got a major mental reconstruction job. Toronto and Washington should be on the rise. Maybe the Nets under Lionel Hollins will have a say. But any team with LeBron has to be given a legitimate shot.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: TBD. Who do the Cavaliers have to offload to make the money — and possibly the sign-and-trade — work? Do the Bulls get Carmelo Anthony? Cleveland could be good enough. I’ll go that far. James, Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Andrew Wiggins is a nice first five for the future, plus maybe Dion Waiters. But I would still pick Chicago with Carmelo, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler, Doug McDermott and others.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: No. I’m not ready to vault this theoretical Cleveland team past Indiana right now. That said, with LeBron, the only thing the Cavaliers would be lacking is the needed seasoning to compete at the highest level. All that young talent they’ve piled up is fine, save for the fact that they’ve only seen the playoffs on TNT and other networks. They’ll also need to piece together some chemistry overnight. But they’d be right there behind Indiana and capable of overtaking the Pacers if we see the same kind of mental and emotional fragility we saw from the No. 1 seed Pacers we saw last season.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: Last season the Cavs didn’t even make the playoffs. Adding LeBron and Andrew Wiggins would be about the best one-two punch you could find. But to me, experience and outside shooting are the two things lacking that jump out at me. The Cavs were in the bottom half of the league last season in 3-point shooting, and that was how the Spurs dissected Miami last year — spreading them out and knocking down jumpers. Miami’s Achilles’ heel was rebounding, and I don’t know that the Cavs have much better depth along the front line than the Heat. It’s funny to me that everyone kinda writes off the Heat — they made it to the Finals and actually split the first two games. To me, the Heat with Bron are closer to another Finals run than Cleveland would be.

Marcelo Nogueira, NBA Argentina: It wouldn’t be enough to just have LeBron back in Cleveland to win the Eastern Conference. The Cavs would need LeBron and a scientist to create a LeBron clone.

Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA Greece: First of all, any team with LeBron in the starting five becomes a contender. Moreover the Cavs have the talent to support him. Andrew Wiggins is a player with tremendous potential and Kyrie Irving has showcased his All-Star quality. Anderson Varejao if healthy is a great role player, Spencer Hawes can reallly stretch the floor and become a great asset for a LeBron-James-playing-style, Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett are rising stars. If their core can overcome their injury-filled destiny they can be the next big thing, for sure.

Rodrigo Méndez, NBA Mexico: The Cavs, for those seven years LeBron James played in Cleveland — with a championship eluding them — had a chance to learn a few things. Now if LeBron returns, those lessons come to fruition: build a team around the star, a complete team with a good defense and a full suit of complements on the court and on the bench. That last lesson they can take from the Heat, which had trouble surrounding LBJ in 2013-14.

32 Comments

  1. Karlo Garcia says:

    Time will tell if Cleveland will win the east if Lebron goes back to Cleveland, however talking about winning a championship that is a very different topic on a another scale.

  2. Blog_Star_Hip_Hop_2014 says:

    A superstar that is one-dimensional needs a team:
    He will fill up a stadium, but not help you win a ring

  3. Michael says:

    The dude from Greece is tripping… Spencer Hawes is in Clippers. And Anthony Bennett a ‘rising star’ ???

  4. Mark Joseph Torres says:

    I think, LeBron will stay in Miami. The drama is all about business.. He only wants Riley to work harder to get more talent. Bron just want to have a deeper team but it may cost Bosh…

  5. Dan K says:

    I believe that if he decides to come back to the Cavs, it’s because he did make a promise to bring a championship to Cleveland. He went out and won 2 titles, so nobody can put him in the category of Barkley, Malone and others. He is a champion. I feel if he had won titles all 4 yrs in Miami, that he’d stay and for 5, 6 or 7. Now that he has 2, he can go back to Cleveland and if he can bring a title to Cleveland, he’ll make even more history. It’s a feel good story and situation for him. They’re not the best team on paper at the moment, but they do have a lot of promising young players. Irving, Wiggins and Waiters are good ball players. And Tristan Thompson has improved a ton. Not to mention, it’s been noted that Kevin Love wants to play with LeBron. That would be a pretty strong 3 of LeBron, Love and Irving. I guess we’ll just wait and see what happens………..

  6. Anon says:

    Spencer Hawes not on the Cavs anymore…

  7. GT says:

    LeBron appears to be both a goal-oriented athlete and a profit-oriented businessman, and good at both. So where will he find BOTH the opportunity for the max salary AND the best opportunity to win another championship next season?

    Definitely not Cleveland. He might get money, but not another championship.

    If he stays in Miami, he builds on a well-established foundation with Bosh and Wade. No learning curve, no chemistry to create. Riley will replace the weak pieces. The worst that will happen is they dominate the East, make it to the finals and lose again. Not bad, AND James gets paid.

    I think James will make the smart choice and stay where he is. Somebody give me a scenario that answers my question.

    • Paul says:

      GT,

      I think you make the point well — it is hard to make logical sense of a move to Cavs but stranger things have happened!

  8. padraic bourke says:

    Cavs will only go as far as Matt Dellavedova takes them!

  9. Mark Allen says:

    He will not let down Cavs nation again. “PERIOD” !!!

    • Heat BB Fan says:

      Let down the Cavs Nation??? Since when did he promise them anything? Cavs Nation let him down four years ago, and the sorry owner, he even brought LeBron’s kids into it, disgusting!! The TOTAL DISRESPECT shown to LeBron was outrageous.

      Not sure how you forget all that.

      Not sure he would screw his friend Wade by leaving, after letting him opt out.

      • NYK says:

        Agreed. Other then the way he announced his decision he did nothing wrong. He owes something to Cleveland because he grew up near by? In my mind Dan Gilberts letter was way more egregious anyway. I just can’t see this happening, I cant get past that letter to be honest, and I don’t know how LBJ could either.

  10. asdf says:

    Verejao is the only one with playoff experience on that cleveland team.

    How on earth could lebron comeback and win with players that has only experienced lottery seasons.

    Blatt is probaly a great coach, but he has still never coached nba ball. that takes time to get used to, the schedule is way bigger than fiba, way more preperation and managing. and it takes time to implement a successful system.

    They are way to many redflags on that cleveland team to go back to.

    I can see lebron returning home at age 35 but right now, there is noway that he weill return to cleveland.

  11. Stop dreaming!! Not a chance for this scenario!!!

    He will go one day to the Cavs to finish his career there. But at the moment I’m quite positive that LBJ is looking for a squad that can help him to win rings.

    In the NBA you need a balanced squad to win a ring, not 1 or 2 all stars with a little help around them. Not to mention a capable coach.

    WE ALL KNOW THAT

  12. edrik says:

    i think lbj still remembers the very hard flagrant fouls that josh mcroberts gave to him.. so it will be cavs…. this time heat fans will burn lbj’s heat jersey…. and for me his legacy will be much bigger if he leads the cavs to the finals and if still lose… will be remembered the greatest cavs player… Going home is the sweetest thing to go back to….

  13. Bai Jo says:

    You can actually hear Miami fans defecating in their white pants. What’s that about turnabout being fair play?

  14. Bai Jo says:

    The future

    Melo and Gasol in ny
    Love in boston

    East coast Rivalry

    Lebron in Cleveland
    Bulls reload
    Indiana a threat

    Midwest rivalry

    Bobcats up and coming
    DC up and coming

    Regional rivalry

    The east looks much more interesting by breaking up the Heatles

    Bosh to Houston
    Scary Dallas
    Returning champ spurs

    Texas triangle of death!

    One move by James can turn the east around and alter the power in the west. If I’m Adam silver I’m hoping James goes back to Cleveland.

    Can’t wait.

    • jake s. says:

      I like your comment, but is the power really reset in the west? Mavs lost a lot, and gained a lot… Bosh takes up a lot of cap space for not enough points (Houston). I just don’t see the west being any different. Thunder and Spurs make the mark and i believe that is it.

  15. squala96 says:

    Let Bosh go to Houston and pay Jameer and a good center instead. LeBron won’t go back to Cleveland. The best player cannot be the dumbest also. He should never play for those ingrates again. So long as the lineup is deeper, then James will stay and take Wade along.

  16. ELDiablO says:

    LeBron should also try smaller market teams as a leader and to prove his worth. Even MJ tried to carry a team on his own by playing at WASHINGTON during 2001-2003..PROVE YOUR WORTH ON YOUR OWN..

    • Level Headed says:

      Good point I forgot about those championship runs that Washington had. O wait they didn’t, that was just Jordan not being able to go quitley into retirement.

  17. harrythehawk says:

    No matter where Lebron goes, Heat or Cleveland, he will not win a championship. Even with the King. Those teams are sorry. Sorry.

  18. No way LeBron goes anywhere. It is Miami and I am not fan but facts are facts. So watch he
    ll go to Detroit. LOL

  19. Kirby Record says:

    Not mentioned is the remote chance of also getting Kevin Love but give up Wiggins. That makes Cavs a favorite to win the East and very competitive with anyone in the West, if Irving and all, stay healthy. Otherwise, James, Bosh, McRoberts, Wade, Granger, Allen and company are a much tougher out than this year’s Heat squad.

  20. Bermir says:

    I guess Stefanos Triantafyllos did not get the memo on Spencer Hawes…(?)

    • Seriously says:

      Was glad someone else saw this… he went to Philly and is now at LAC. Pay attention Stefan!

  21. Lengendary says:

    AMMEN TO THAT!!!!!! How can you go back to your own city after what they said about you and did. They only want you back so they could win rings and make money. They don’t really care about LeBron. . . . if they did they wouldn’t have acted the way they did. Now their trying after 4 years to build a team just for him and give him a max!
    get out of here! I would rather see LeBron leave Miami and go anywhere else IF he is planning on leaving. . . but not back to Cleveland. . . . . Just stay in Miami and win. You talk about strive for greatness. . . . . stay in Miami and prove it LeBron. At the end of the day RINGS do not make you the GREATEST!!! Russell has 11 RINGS! and he is not consider the greatest of ALL-TIME! Its how you play the game and impact the players around u. . . that is what really makes you great!

  22. Byrdpalmer says:

    The Cavs would make the playoffs it would be a tuff fight to get out the east if the bulls and pacers are at full strengthen.

  23. Heat BB Fan says:

    Can’t even imagine he’d want to work for Gilbert again, or the fans who trashed him, burned his jerseys, and threatened his home. LeBron has pride, and the bottom line he was so disrespected, bad enough Gilbert put that letter out there, he paid for a full page to have it run in the paper. He kept it on the teams website for these four years, just took it down…. really???

    Can’t imagine he’d let Wade opt out if he wasn’t really planning on staying.