Cavs continue to have “dialogue” with LeBron James’ representation

Koby Altman knows improved roster needed to be able to take down Warriors

Daryl Ruiter
June 22, 2018 - 12:59 am
Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman speaks with reporters following the 2018 NBA Draft.

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

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Independence, OH (92.3 The Fan) – It appears LeBron James – or at least his representation – has not gone radio silent on Koby Altman and the Cavaliers.

That’s a good sign.

The Cavs GM said Late Thursday night that they continue to have open communication with James’ people since they were swept by Golden State in the NBA Finals.

“We continue to have good dialogue with his management team,” Altman said following the NBA Draft that saw the Cavs take Alabama guard Collin Sexton eighth overall.

James has until June 29 to pick up or decline the $35.6 million player option for 2018 and it is expected that James will opt out of the deal and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. 

Altman presented a calm demeanor when addressing James’ situation.  

“LeBron has more than earned the right to approach his contracts the way he does,” Altman said. “He’s done that before, so this is nothing new for us. We want to respect his space during this process, and I continue to have really good dialogue with his management team as he goes through that process.

“We don’t take him for granted. We love him, this city loves him. He means the world to us and this franchise.”

James said following Game 4 that he was still in “championship mode” which means the Cavs need to show him they have or will find the pieces needed to overcome the Warriors, who have beaten him and the Cavs 3 times in the last 4 years in The Finals.

Although the series this year was a sweep, Altman and the Cavs were disappointed because they felt they were much more competitive in these Finals compared to the 2017 5-game series.

“We were really competitive in this series and to come away how we came away just really hurt because I thought we were really in a couple of those games and could've swung the series either way,” Altman said. “That being said, we need to get better to beat one of the all-time great teams in the history of the game with their talent level and what they put together. Dan Gilbert will spare no expense and is committed to winning championships. That is our goal. We did not meet that goal, but we have to keep doing better and we have to invest in player development, we have to get better with our youth and then we have to explore opportunities to add and try to improve our talent level as well.

“That's my job and we are certainly trying to attack that as we speak for sure.”

Altman believes that the selection of Sexton accomplishes part of that.

“I think the pick along with our youth and our momentum as a franchise, for LeBron and for everybody, I think there’s a real energy here,” Altman said. “And I think the talent level of Collin I’m almost sure LeBron recognizes.”

James did not miss a single game in the regular season or the postseason – 104 games in total – as he carried the franchise back to the NBA Finals for a fourth straight year. His workload was as heavy as it has ever been, a point Altman made sure to acknowledge and appreciate.

“He gave his heart and soul, die hard energy, commitment to this team, to this franchise, to this city, to northeast Ohio,” Altman said. “It was a historical year; probably one of the best postseason runs of all-time and [we’re] very, very fortunate to have him here and what he gave to this franchise this year was nothing short of remarkable.

“We don’t take that for granted at all.”

Will the pick of Sexton help convince James to stay? 

“I hope,” Altman said.

He's not alone.