Today gave the clearest indication yet that the Cleveland Cavaliers are now going after Lebron James even more aggressively in free agency.
Three Team Trade
The Cavaliers have today completed a three-team trade that will see Jarrett Jack and youngster Sergey Karasev join the Brooklyn Nets from the Cavaliers in a swap that also will see the Boston Celtics acquire Brooklyn's Marcus Thornton, Cleveland's Tyler Zeller and a future first-round pick from the Cavaliers.
The move gives the Cavs a significant amount of cap space, enough in fact for the team to be able to offer the Miami Heat man James a max contract. Cleveland eliminated the salaries of Jack who was on $6.3 million, Zeller and his $1.7 million and the European Karasev who would make $1.5 million next year.
Lebron and Friends
In addition to this deal, it is rumoured that the Cavaliers could be set to do even more in an attempt to get the four time MVP back to his home town team. According to reports from ESPN's Chris Broussard, the Cavs are looking into making moves to bring Ray Allen and/or James Jones to the Quicken Loans Arena.
Lebron is very good friends with both of his Miami Heat teammates and the deals would obviously be used as an attempt to lure him to a Cavs side that already boasts All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, number 1 draft pick Andrew Wiggins and Dion Waiters.
Far from Over
The trade cannot be confirmed until tomorrow, when a league-wide moratorium on signings and trades is lifted and the floodgates hopefully open.
The race to sign Lebron James is far from over, but this is the clearest indication yet about how serious the Cleveland Cavaliers are in getting their former star man back. James' agent has met with officials from the Mavericks, Rockets, Suns and Lakers as well as Cleveland, but none have actually talked to Lebron - unlike Heat GM Pat Riley who gets to meet the small forward today.