LeBron James has made the NBA Finals for seven straight seasons, but the Cavaliers are sputtering out of control and their season honestly doesn’t look salvageable. NBA teams on the brink of contention should be calling the Cavs to see if somehow, some-way they could pry LeBron away, get him to waive his no-trade clause, and try to make a run. The Milwaukee Bucks should be one of those teams.
The NBA trade deadline is this Thursday. While the Cavs have the Nets’ first round pick as a valuable trade chip in their back pocket, they are more than even a big piece away from being able to contend with the Warriors or Rockets. Right now, they look like they could even lose in the first or second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Last night, I posted this poll:
As of press time, 46% of voteres answered LeBron, 35% said the Cavs, and 19% said the Bucks. My friend Sean Highkin, an obsessive NBA observer, pointed out that Eric Bledsoe is a fellow client of Klutch Sports, and that LeBron would want the Bucks to keep him there. If you sub in Khris Middleton for Bledsoe, he and Bledsoe have similar salaries and the Cavs would be getting an arguably better player.
The Bucks, in this scenario, would have a core of the Greek Freak, Bledsoe, and LeBron, and would immediately be vaulted into Eastern Conference title contention. The Cavs would get Middleton and Snell on manageable contracts for two and three seasons respectively while getting a season to evaluate if Parker can stay healthy and be effective enough to warrant a longer deal. Maybe the Cavs could also try to demand a trade that features Malcolm Brogdon, who has two seasons remaining on an insanely bargain rookie deal?
This would’ve been unthinkable that anybody could plausibly trade for LeBron even as recently as a couple weeks ago. Today, though, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wondered aloud if LeBron would waive the no-trade clause to get away from both his underperforming teammates — it should be noted that LeBron is part of this too; he is clearly frustrated and not giving 100% effort — and Dan Gilbert a few months early:
James must wonder: If the organization won’t go all-in to try to keep the best team around him, would he want to be elsewhere? Would he want to waive his no-trade clause?
The Bucks should at least make the call. Other teams should be as well. A trade for LeBron could be what’s best for him, the Cavs, and whoever gets him for a several-month stretch run at a championship. I know the Warriors look unbeatable right now but if Steph Curry and/or Kevin Durant’s legs don’t work even a little bit come June, all of a sudden everything is wide open again.