A Cleveland area newspaper, in a rare moment of clarity, points out that the idea that the Cavs will have enough $$ to both pay James and another superstar free agent is a fallacy. If Cleveland resigns Varejao and/or Ilgauskas, and retains its first-round draft picks in ’09 and ’10, they’ll be unable to afford another top flight player. If they let Varejao and Ilgauskas go, and don’t sign a first rounder in either of the next two drafts, it’s not clear how they plan to win enough games or have enough talent to be an attractive long term spot for LeBron. Joe Smith and Ben Wallace are barely walking without canes at this stage of their careers.
I doubt LeBron is confident that the Cavs would go way over into the luxury tax in order to keep players around him. And without Varejao and some picks, they’re left with a trio of three point shooting PG’s and LeBron. Not exactly a foundation.
So instead you start talking about Tyson Chandler?? Even Oklahoma City didn’t want him. For free.
I do think LBJ could win a couple championships with Varejao, Chandler, Mo Williams, and Delonte West. But not as many as he could win with a different collection of guys, elsewhere.
Update: Look, obviously he likes it in Cleveland, and they’re committed to him, and the fans and city will forever worship, protect, and insulate him from anything bad ever happening. All I’m saying is, the actual team around him isn’t necessarily going to be any better than anywhere else. Cleveland can’t let up for an instant over the next year, while other teams can be building to have a renaissance at precisely the right time.