The Cleveland Cavaliers will not give up on LeBron James and will keep the star guard, according to sources close to the team.
The team also is considering adding another veteran free agent and has not decided which player will fill the void left by James’ departure.
The Cavs have also not ruled out bringing back veteran Kevin Love or Dwyane Wade in free agency, but it remains to be seen how much of a push those moves will receive, sources told ESPN.
This news comes a day after the Cavs hosted the Toronto Raptors at Quicken Loans Arena for the first time in almost four years.
The Cavs are still in need of help on the defensive end, as well as a big offensive threat to complement James and Kyrie Irving, but their struggles this season have forced them to move on.
James and Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue were not available for comment.
Lue, in charge of the Cavs for the last four seasons, has been on the market for months, but had to walk away from the job after the team fell to 13-11 last season.
He is still one of the NBA’s most respected coaches, but his time with the Cavs will come to an end.
“We want to make sure we’re not going to be at a place where we’re giving up on him and he’s not going away,” Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant said on ESPN Radio’s The Sporting News.
Grant said that, in light of James’ exit, the team has decided to focus its attention on improving its roster and trying to fill its holes.
As the team’s most talented player and the team leader on offense, James will remain on the court and be a focal point of the team, Grant said.
“[James] is a huge part of what we do.
It’s important that he continues to play his part.”
The team also wants to add more veteran help, sources said, and is not ruling out bringing in a new veteran free-agent.
Although the Cavs do not yet have an answer for the Cavs’ defensive issues, they believe they are on the right track.
For all the talk about how they were struggling on the offensive end, they have shown improvement in the second half of the season, according in to Grant.
One of the biggest issues was that the Cavs struggled to score in the paint, something that is a big part of their identity.
In the last two games, they are averaging 101.8 points per 100 possessions, according ESPN.
That number has jumped from 93.4 points per game last season and is a career high.
Even though the Cavs are at the mercy of the defensive intensity of Toronto, the Raptors have struggled defensively in recent seasons, limiting the Cavs to 96.6 points per contest.
While they are not playing as good a basketball as they used to, the Cavs should still be able to hang with the best teams in the league.
But there are a few factors that could cause the Cavs problems down the stretch, sources close with the team told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
First, James has been struggling mightily with injuries.
James is averaging less than 10 minutes per game since his return, according the league-wide data.
Second, the Cavaliers are currently on pace for the worst record in the Eastern Conference, according a composite of Basketball-Reference, ESPN and ESPN.com.
Cleveland is averaging 104.7 points per team in the regular season, which would rank seventh-worst in the NBA.
If the Cavs fall out of the playoff picture, they would fall out in the first round of the playoffs.
Finally, the Warriors are also expected to be among the top teams in basketball this season.
Cleveland has struggled to find consistency from the perimeter, and the Warriors could be the team that can take that to the next level.
Last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers finished 27th in points allowed per possession and 25th in assists per possession.
They also allowed 102.7 possessions per game and scored just 104.4 per game.
Despite the lack of offensive production, the teams are still close in the standings, according on ESPN’s Basketball Power Index.
The Cavaliers, who have the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, are expected to select a guard in the top five.
There are two potential suitors for the Cavaliers: Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison and Washington’s Kelly Oubre.
Harrison is the leading candidate to be selected, sources say.
He is a 6-foot-6 guard with a great feel for the game, a coach who could help the Cavaliers improve on their struggles from last season, sources added.
Oubre, meanwhile, is expected to receive interest from several teams, sources confirmed to Windhorth.
Sources close to both teams say Oubres development will be a big