LeBron James is no longer a free agent after signing a two-year, $47 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. But the deal also puts pressure to the Cavs to keep building up the team for its next campaign in the 2015-2016 National Basketball Association (NBA) season.
The deal comes with a player option to stay in Cleveland, although everybody is expecting James to stay with the team, reported Sports World Report.
Cavs general manager David Griffin commented after the signing, "LeBron's re-signing today is a reflection and continuation of his strong, personal commitment to help deliver championships to Northeast Ohio and Cavs fans everywhere. We share this deep level of commitment with him. His impact upon this team, his community and the game are impossible to overstate and we look forward to continuing on our mission together."
James said that the Cavs still has "a lot of work to do" to build up the team and is waiting for the team to "has to re-sign" Tristan Thompson. Earlier, it was reported that James refused to talk with the Cavs and re-sign a new contract after the team inks a new deal with Thompson.
In fairness with the Cavs, the team has kept its core championship players together by signing back Kevin Love and Iman Shumpert, as well as Mo Williams. Matthew Dellavedova is expected to return. The team has also started talks of trades involving Joe Johnson, Nick Young, Brendan Haywood and Jamal Crawford this offseason.
But James has reportedly asked the Cavs to also sign JR Smith as he does not want to come back to the same team. This adds more pressure for the Cavs to sign those players.
Talking to reporters before the screening of Trainwreck, a comedy where he had a brief role with Amy Schumer and Bill Hader, James said he is happy with the current movements in his team during the offseason, reported the Associated Press.
James was quoted as saying, "It's been good so far, but we have a lot of work to do. We still got to re-sign Tristan. Hopefully we can bring back J.R. as well and see if there's some other free agents out there that'd love to come here and play if we're able to do that. We definitely don't want to come back the same team. We want to come back better. But right now, we've been doing so far, so good."
The Cavs have been looking to boost its perimeter shooting and Johnson will certainly fit this role because of his shooting and scoring abilities. Johnson averaged 14.4 points and shot 44 percent last season.
However, the Cavs are already reaching the limits of its salary cap and releasing Haywood will give the team a much needed space. Haywood has a $10.5 million non-guaranteed contract with the Cavaliers if waived before August 1. The value of Haywood's contract is seen to increase over the last few days.
A trade for and waiving Haywood could actually save the Nets tens of millions in tax payments, but the ESPN source the Cavs need to dangle more than that if they want the trade to push through.
However, the Nets have been looking to trade Johnson to relive the team of some tax burden pressures in the next season as they are faced with paying repeater tax, which would be the highest punitive luxury fine in the NBA history. Reports indicated that the Nets are in serious talks with several teams in the league, including the Memphis Grizzlies.
According to Ecumenical News, the Cavaliers also want to sign up Los Angeles Lakers' swingman Young in a possible trade, to help the team in scoring.