As Rudy Gay was dealt to the Toronto Raptors late Wednesday evening, it appears that this move — despite the trade last week which freed up additional funds — is the first domino in a line created by the new NBA collective bargaining agreement. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports writes that the biggest domino of them all, LeBron James, sees the writing on the talent-sharing wall and that this move will only serve to open the eyelids that are set on 2014.
“James’ agent and childhood friend, Rich Paul, born and raised and still living in Cleveland, has been privately telling people for two years of his intrigue with bringing the prodigal son back as the conquering hero in Cleveland,” writes Wojnarowski. ”James will ultimately make the call to return – just like he made it to leave – rest assured that the most important voices in his ear will be partial to Cleveland again.”
Said voices are Paul and his business manager Maverick Carter. Paul, as noted many times over, continues to call Cleveland home and has a client with the Cavaliers in second-year power forward Tristan Thompson. In the event James would be “delivered” to Cleveland, it could bode well financially for the upstart forward. Quoted within the Wojnarowski is what is deemed a high-level associate in James’ camp who states that they “see the benefits of getting the credit for bringing LeBron home again.”
Potentially the most interesting portion of the report was the buried line that other general managers in the NBA were “incredulous” following the trade in which Cleveland received a first-round draft pick along with talented players in Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington for the price of one Jon Leuer. Per Wojnarowski, the presence of Kyrie Irving alone is not enough — general manager Chris Grant needs to show that he can surround James better than his predecessor. The fact that the era of the “super teams” appears to be coming to an end should only serve to help.