Life without LeBron James has begun once more for the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the NBA icon announced last week that he would be leaving the franchise and signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
This is the second time which LeBron has left the franchise in his career, putting the Cavaliers through another likely rebuild, but this isn’t what the team wants to do.
Cleveland’s notable remaining players include Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Kyle Korver, JR Smith and George Hill. They also have young players such as Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson, as well as rookie draft pick Collin Sexton.
Love staying put
Many people believe the Cavs would likely cash out on Love now and see what value they can get for him in order to try and contribute towards their rebuild.
However, Cavs general manager Koby Altman doesn’t want to do that. Instead, he believes Love is an important piece of the roster and that the team isn’t going to get any better now by moving him away.
Altman said, according to ESPN: “I think the Kevin piece is important. Kevin is an All-Star, and you don’t get better by moving Kevin.
“Kevin’s been incredible for us for four years, and he wants to be here, and to me that’s a big part for guys that are here and the guys that we’re going to acquire, is that they want to be here and be a part of this new chapter and culture that we’re creating.
“So Kevin has a big place in our franchise, and I don’t think you get better by moving him. I think we’ll explore opportunities with the roster in general, but as far as Kevin goes, I don’t see how you get better doing that.”
As for some of Cleveland’s young pieces, Altman plans to offer an extension to Larry Nance Jr., whom he called “part of our core,” as well as saying “He’s going to be here for a while.”
The Cavs general manager also expects to retain restricted free agent Rodney Hood as they have already tendered a $3.4 million qualifying offer to Hood for next season. Cleveland is going to work with what they’ve got for now.
CLICK HERE to listen to Episode Two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein. Subscribe for all future episodes.