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NBA Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers Revamp LeBron James Lineup; Jared Cunningham in, Tristan Thompson Out?

( [email protected] ) Jan 05, 2016 12:45 AM EST
The Cleveland Cavaliers are busy dominating the Eastern Conference this NBA season, with the Chicago Bulls trailing behind. While the LeBron James squad appear to not have serious competition in the division, they continue to voice out their frustration over the way they are playing this season. The frustration on the roster was highlighted even more when the NBA team lost to the Golden State Warriors last Christmas. The failure of the Kyrie Irving team to beat the Stephen Curry squad smacked right in the face of King James, who vowed to avenge their championship loss last season.
Cleveland Cavs' Lebron James and Kevin Love. Photo: AP

The Cleveland Cavaliers are busy dominating the Eastern Conference this NBA season, with the Chicago Bulls trailing behind. While the LeBron James squad appear not to have serious competition in the division, they continue to voice out their frustration over the way they are playing this season. The frustration on the roster was highlighted even more when the NBA team lost to the Golden State Warriors on Christmas day. The failure of the Kyrie Irving team to beat the Stephen Curry squad smacked King James right in the face, who vowed to avenge their championship loss last season.

As the year 2016 begins, the Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to go back to the hardwood court raring to prove their worth. While James' health has never been a major issue in the NBA team, the other members of the roster poised concerns on that department earlier this season and in the past. This time, however, it looks like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Iman Shumpert are back. Hence, the Cleveland Cavaliers are considered more formidable than ever.

"They know what they can be when they're all healthy and playing together," said David Blatt, according to ESPN. said of the chemistry of James, Irving and Love. The Cleveland Cavaliers head coach added, "I think it gives them the kind of confidence and the kind of energy to be out there playing that way together. It's a good sign."

Aside from the return of the NBA stars, King James is also excited for the up and coming players on the practice squad. A particular star who caught his attention is Jared Cunningham. The 24-year-old shooting guard is described as a locker favorite in the Cleveland Cavaliers, with none other than James himself taking him in as a younger brother. Cunningham had been with the Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers.

"I think Jared has done a great job since Day 1," said Blatt, according to Cleveland.com. He added, "I don't think anyone has any questions about Jared's ability to play for us, to help us, to play in this league. There are other issues at hand, contractual issues that are really not so much my decisions to make, but Jared has acquitted himself well here from Day 1."

While Cunningham may have gained the respect and admiration of the coaching staff and players, the front office still holds the final vote on his future. The Cleveland Cavaliers are given until January 10 to decide whether or not to keep the 6'3" shooting guard. If they decide to keep him, then his $981,348 salary will be guaranteed. While the amount may be measly compared with the other players in the roster, the Cleveland Cavaliers will need to shell out $3.8 million in luxury tax bills if they keep Cunningham. This the result of the luxurious contract dealt with the 15-man roster of the NBA squad this season.

"Whatever happens, happens," said Cunningham. He added, "I can't control the decision; I can just control what I do. The things I've been doing, I guess have been helping, and they've taking a liking to it. So when that day comes, it's just up to the front office and their decision."

Meanwhile, Blatt earlier disclosed that the starting lineup might not see Tristan Thompson regularly. 

"It's something that's not etched in stone," Blatt said. "We may either situationally or philosophically go back. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see that happen, but that was the move that we wanted to make at the time, and it's proved to be pretty good for everyone involved so far."

Tags : NBA, NBA rumors, Cleveland Cavaliers