Monday, June 29, 2015

Leadoff with Lee 6.29.15 #LeBron #KevinLove #Cavs #Indians

By @cleeverizon

- LeBron James officially announced that he would be opting out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It's not a big deal, folks. Cleveland fans knew once he came back home he signed a 2 year deal with a player option on the 2nd year. Just expect this for the next 2 years. LeBron could sign 5-year, $40M plus per season contract if he waits 2 summers to sign long-term deal. The NBA Salary Cap is going up 33% in 2016-17, then 21% in 2017-18.

Does he want to earn the maximum amount of money possible? YES! Despite becoming a free agent, LeBron James will not visit other teams. He will re-sign with the Cavs later this summer. Don't let the “4 letter network” scare you into thinking that LBJ is going to leave again. I think LeBron knows if he leaves the Cavs again, he will not only be the most hated man in Cleveland, but possibly the most hated man in sports history. Even surpassing Art Modell here locally.

- Concerning Kevin Love and opting out of his contract, Love basically has 2 options available. The first being the same as LeBron: continue to sign one year deals for max contracts until the 2016-2017 season. Or sign a 5 year max deal after July 1st of this summer and guarantee his money for 5 years. Considering Love’s injury history, I would say he signs a 5 year max this year.

- As for Tristan Thompson and his contract, here’s how it breaks down to me. Before we start to speculate how much he you would or would not pay “Double T” per year, let the market dictate that. In 2 years, Tristan Thompson's "max" deal is going to be a top 5 best deal in basketball considering his age and the salary cap rising. My only question, does Thompson still come off the bench earning max or near max money? The Cavs would have Love, Anderson Varejao, Timofey Mozgov and James returning next season. And I'm not sold that Thompson is ready to become a starter as of yet. Stamina wise he's not there yet, while providing much needed points and rebounds coming off the bench. Granted he can play the power forward and center positions, but with the returning talent, who is going to sit the bench and give you Thompson type numbers?

- J.R. Smith also opted out of his contract with the Cavs. Smith opted out of making $6.4M this season knowing he could get a raise. Numerous sources have indicated he is looking for a 3 year deal, worth about $8M per season.

I have been in J.R. Smith's corner this entire time and still have his back. He ONLY WANTS A ADDITIONAL $1.6M per year! The other 2 factors are who is going to take a chance on Smith and your “de facto” General Manager LeBron James wants him back. It should be noted that LeBron also wanted Damon Jones back year after year and was he back with the team during LeBron’s first stint in Cleveland. Jones is LBJ's personal shooting coach! What LeBron wants is what LeBron gets. Some Cleveland fans want to run Smith out of Cleveland because he didn't show up in the finals when needed? It's also mind blowing to me that people hate J.R. for a couple bad games after a very good season, but love Matthew Dellavedova for the opposite. Delly had a terrible season and then had 3 or 4 good games in the playoffs. J.R. had a good season and 3 or 4 bad games. Yet Delly is loved! The Cavs were 30-3 down the last stretch of the season. Don't blow it up. Keep it in perspective and don't let the National media fool you!

- The Cleveland Indians on the other side of The Gateway Plaza…. where do I start?

Well yesterday, the Indians were swept in a doubleheader in 40 years. That's 1975 folks. The Indians are 33-41 this year, 118-118 since losing to Rays in the 2013 Wild Card game & 1,062-1,118 since the start of the 2002 season under Mark Shapiro/Chris Antonetti.

Two playoff appearances, three 90+ win seasons, four 90+ losing seasons. The Indians have scored three or fewer runs in 18 of the 24 games they've played in June. They are 9-15 in June. Is it the fault of “Shapinetti”? Do you blame the Dolan's? Do you blame Francona? Francona was ejected with two outs in the 9th of yesterday’s game by plate umpire Ron Kulpa for arguing balls and strikes following Ryan Raburn's strikeout. What other way do you try to fire up your team?

And for those of you who think Kevin Love won't be returning, look who was spotted in Los Angeles with LeBron James, the unofficial General Manager of the year! 

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