Always Free To Place a Hit On Someone
In the 24 hours before Koby Altman pushed to complete the three deals that resurrected a season and reshaped a franchise, the Cleveland Cavaliers general manager sought a most elusive engagement: a sit-down with LeBron James.
Before he shared the framework of possible trades for online slot promotion malaysia Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Rodney Hood, George Hill and DeAndre Jordan last Wednesday, Altman prefaced his visit with the unmistakable truth that nothing the front office could do mattered much until James had re-engaged on the court. James had been angry, brooding and playing with an indifference that Altman hadn't witnessed in their three-plus years together in Cleveland.
Most of all, Altman wanted the best player on the planet to know that he understood his frustrations with the Cavaliers' mismatched assemblage of talent and crumbling culture. Altman assured James that management was determined to uproot the roster and fight to restore order.
For the Cavaliers' front office, an audience with James had been a rare occurrence. James had largely left his agent, Rich Paul, to communicate with the team on roster issues. Owner Dan Gilbert had spoken directly to James only once since conversations about a Paul George trade on June 30. Back then, Gilbert required James' commitment of an additional season beyond 2017-18 for George to consider a comparable pledge. In the end, Indiana made the George deal with Oklahoma City -- not Cleveland.
Gilbert and James didn't meet again until opening night against how to play poker w88 Boston, hours prior to tipoff inside Quicken Loans Arena. James has declined to commit to Cleveland beyond this season, which is part of the reason Altman had come to James with trades that didn't include the Brooklyn Nets lottery pick acquired in the Kyrie Irving deal with Boston.
Six months after his promotion to GM, Altman's marching orders were these: Bring on younger, athletic players under contract or control beyond the 2017-18 season and work to soothe a splintered locker room.
In ESPN's conversations with those involved in the final hours of completing the three trades, a common theme emerged: One way or another, Altman planned to make dramatic changes to the roster. Whatever incarnations of deals emerged and re-emerged, the Cavaliers organization was sure of this: Isaiah Thomas had to go, Dwyane Wade deserved to make a decision on his own and, ultimately, Cleveland couldn't give LeBron James reason to leave so easily in July.
When Altman visited with James in the Cavaliers' practice facility a week ago, he let him know that there were still talks alive with the LA Clippers on a Jordan deal. What's more, there was significant progress: Altman had ownership approval to 138 bet customer service send the Clippers Jae Crowder, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert and the Cavs' 2018 first-round pick for Jordan. The Clippers were willing to accept the trade, but on one significant condition.