Most would think it’s time for Cleveland to roll over if LeBron leaves and rebuild a sinking ship. But, Cleveland is stuck in a corner, as most of their roster is signed for multiple years. According to Cleveland.com, the Cavaliers will look to remain in contention as they try to pursue Kawhi Leonard.
Cleveland is among the teams trying to pry Kawhi Leonard away from the Spurs, but assembling a workable offer won’t be easy, Pluto adds in the same story. Kevin Love, who will make $24.1MM next season with a player option close to $25.6MM for 2019/20, would be useful for salary-matching purposes, but San Antonio seems more interested in acquiring young talent than an established player like Love.
The biggest problem with keeping LeBron is the lack of talent on the roster and lack of flexibility to change anything. LeBron’s problematic relationship with Dan Gilbert could be a big influence in where he goes as well. But, a lot of the time winning cures all.
The best way to approach this is salary match with Love and the 8th pick included for the Spurs, but I could imagine the Spurs getting better offers from various teams around the league like the Lakers possibly, or even the Boston Celtics, who remain in the hunt but will be ‘cautious’ in this chase.
The Celtics reportedly made a trade deadline offer for Kawhi in February and the Spurs did not counter. If the Spurs were that quick to pull the rug out from under Boston with their assets, I cannot imagine Cleveland matching up their potential haul. But, even if they made the deal for Kawhi, and traded Kevin Love, the Cavaliers would take a hit in their frontcourt depth which was already thin to begin with.