This time next year, LeBron James may not need to turn “The Decision” into a cliff-hanger — because the Cavaliers, more and more, are making it for him.
The King’s frustration with the organization reportedly is nearing its tipping point as more chips fall into place around the league, leaving the 2016 NBA champions with less hope of avenging this year’s Finals loss and conquering the mighty Warriors. And James, who can become a free agent after the upcoming season, is feeling less confident about returning to his hometown team with each questionable decision and failed signing, a source “close to the situation” told USA Today in a report published Monday.
James’ irritation reportedly picked up steam when owner Dan Gilbert — who already had burned a few bridges with his superstar over the years — neglected to renew the contracts of general manager David Griffin and vice president of basketball operations Trent Redden without consulting James. The three-time NBA Finals MVP had previously endorsed Griffin’s return to Cleveland, crediting him with helping the Cavaliers “compete for a championship.”
The night of Griffin’s ouster, James pulled himself further from Gilbert and toward his own island in a highly suggestive farewell tweet to their general manager of three years.
The removal of two front-office executives right before free agency left the Cavaliers with a strange authority gap when they tried to compete for top players, additions James was relying on to make another run at a championship.
A trade for then-Bulls guard Jimmy Butler, for example, was one of Griffin’s top priorities before the split, and the Cavaliers lost out on the All-Star. Butler, who was traded to the Timberwolves on draft night, reportedly didn’t want to…