Every day that goes by and LeBron James remains silent on his pending free agency decision, the anxiety and tension inside me grows to the point where I think I physically can't take it anymore.
For weeks after the Boston Massacre, I prepped myself for LeBron leaving. After all, there was only one way he could seriously consider leaving: if the Cavs totally collapsed in the playoffs before reaching the Finals, there were major changes in the organization (not necessarily ones for the better, but panic changes), and James needing a fresh start somewhere else to wipe off the stench of Cleveland failure completely.
Check for the first two points...the third one is still up in the air.
But in the last few days, amidst all of the reports, breaking news, and rumors from writers and bloggers alike (hey Stephen A., how's that Bosh-Wade-James guarantee to play in Miami looking now?), I've flip-flopped on my stance.
After the Cavs' pitch to James' camp, the overwhelming show of support from the fans and city, the fact that Bosh and Wade are just as undecided on their plans, and New York's "we're the Knicks, why would you not want to play for us" presentation, I don't see a scenario that would lure an incredibly loyal player away from home.
Now I just need him to reaffirm that.
But the Cavs would be remiss if they didn't have some sort of plan for the King not returning. It's a potentially harsh reality, but one that must be faced.
Obviously, Plan B would be Dwyane Wade. Or Chris Bosh. Or maybe even the back-stabbing Carlos Boozer. But none of these scenarios are plausible—if Cleveland strikes out with James, they're striking out big in free agency.
That being said, they'll need to completely clean house. A lot of people might think that the roster is reasonable to keep in-tact...but that's not an option.
Mo Williams is a semi-decent bargain at $8 million...but him as your No. 1 offensive option? That's not good.
Antawn Jamison is a great scorer (don't let the playoffs fool you, put him in an offense where he's not standing in one spot and he can still put up 16-17 points a night), but a 34-year-old making $28 million over the next two years on a probable lottery team? No thanks.
I love Anderson Varejao; he's one of my favorite player in the league. Still, do you want to pay him $32 million over the next four years as a role player on a .500 team at best?
This team was built around LeBron. Without him, there are pretty much zero pieces worth keeping. It's a Cavalier clearance sale—everything must go!
So, if (and it's a big, big, big if) James is not in Cleveland next year, here are some backup plans the Cavs can look into in an attempt to bring themselves back to relevancy in the NBA.