Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  56 responses

Report: LeBron Using 2010 As Recruiting Tool

by Marcel Mutoni

When deciding whether or not to join the Cleveland Cavaliers, free agents have one concern, and once concern alone: Will LeBron James still be in the mix after next summer?

According to ESPN, James is telling players that he’s not going anywhere. Players like Trevor Ariza, who refused to pull a Hedo Turkoglu on the Houston Rockets and spurned the King’s advances:

In a last-ditch effort to recruit Trevor Ariza away from the Houston Rockets, LeBron James told Ariza he would remain with the Cavaliers past 2010, according to a person close to Ariza… “Trevor asked LeBron if he would be in Cleveland after next season,” the source said. “And LeBron said, ‘I’ll be there. Of course, I’ll be there.’”

Ariza, who had accepted a five-year, $33.5 million offer from the Rockets last Thursday, also received telephone calls from James and Shaquille O’Neal. When James told Ariza he’d be a Cavalier past next season, Ariza was less than convinced. “He thought it was just a recruiting tool,” the source said. “LeBron definitely said it, but until he signs the contract it doesn’t mean much.”

Nice try, LeBron.

In the end, though, Ariza’s decision not to reneg on his verbal commitment to Houston might have a lot more to do with his role on the court next season as opposed to James’s plans for the future.

The Rockets guaranteed Trevor a prominent role in their offensive scheme, whereas the Cavs reportedly couldn’t even promise him a starting spot.

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  • Ken

    I still somehow don’t trust that LBJ will stay in Cleveland in 2010 if the prospects don’t look good.

  • Ken

    Oh, and Ariza’s situation reminds me A LOT of Joe Johnson’s when he left Phoenix. Just less money/talent involved, but still.

  • Momma No Like Cold

    …”will you still love me tomorrow…”

  • neaorin

    That last paragraph says it all really.

  • http://mynameinblue.blogspot.com Hisham

    check my $tats

  • Indiana Jones

    Of course the Cavs couldn’t offer him a starting role. He can only play one position, small forward, and that spot isn’t exactly open right now.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Regarding the headline, to think anything else than: “no sh!t” is kinda foolish.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    How will I laugh tomorrow if I can’t even smile today?

  • nicko

    trade lebron for shaq!!

  • underdog

    I wonder what kind of role Ariza will have in Huston next year. I think he won’t be as good in H-town as he was in LA.

  • http://Slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    Hmmmmm. Still can’t beat Orlando. Which is funny because they are building a beat-Orlando specific team, and yet they’re probably going to meet the Celtics in the playoffs… Which will entail Kevin/Rasheed/(Glen?) eating Shaq and Zydrunas ALIVE.

  • nicko

    lebron to the cavs for shakeel ohkneel!

  • http://Slamonline.com Spaceship Jay


  • BostonBaller

    It still amazes me how players actually think they can be THE MAN on a team who doesn’t have many weapons just b/c they were a really good to great role player on a team where the opposition did NOT key on them. Joe Johnson & S. Marion pop into my head right away. I don’t blame them for taking the money and wanting to play big minutes but sometimes wins and championship possibilities are stronger.

  • http://Slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    BostonBaller, Wouldn’t you say that you end up making all of that money and get all of that fame by winning championships anyway? Winning + Success = Fame/Money. You can try the reverse, but that puts you on a clock, and if you don’t win in a particular time frame you may be discredited and dropped like a bad habit (LeBron!). I thought that Mike taught the children a little better than this.

  • ang

    I think Trevor will blossom in Houston so good for him. With the Lakers he was an integral part of a championship team. In Cleveland, he will just take the blame like all Cleveland players do when they fail to win the big prize for Lebron. Who wants to be part of that.

    It’s interesting that the entire off season has turned into “let’s get Lebron a ring” yet because Lebron won’t commit to Cleveland, no free agent will play along and be stuck there after he is gone.

    And finally, Lebron would be a fool to go to NYC if he cares about winning a championship.

  • NJ4Life

    As long as LBJ keeps teams thinking he’s leaving Cleveland, 90% of the league will be trimming their rosters in hopes of enticing him. But by doing this Lebron is eliminating lots of competition. Yes Boston and Orlando are good, but he doesn’t even have to worry about the rest of the East. The King is setting himself up either for a huge paycheck, or lots of chances at the Title.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    trevor wants to be an all star. simple as that. the money was the same in LA, houston, or cleveland. he already has his ring. only houston can provide him with 20 shots a game. that’s really all there is to it.

  • http://nba.com Reflex

    not buying that Z, Trevor (or his agent rather) wanted Hedo money, LA called his bluff as they had Artest as a backup and it backfired spectacularly for him. I don’t believe for 1 sec being an allstar on what is looking like a losing team (houston) is in anyway comparable to being a starter/6th man on a contending team (which he was at LA). Would have loved to have seen him continue his growth at LA but it is what it is.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    I don’t think houston or any team wants ariza taking 20 shots a game and tmac if he’s back will have an issue with that as well

  • http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/482871/cj_king.html CJK

    I don’t think ariza’s one to take 20 shots a game, but look, in LA he’d split time with Ron Ron, who would get more reps, and LeBron, where Ariza would play 10 minutes a game. So obviously (as explained in the last paragraph) Ariza went to Houston because he could START and play the majority of the game- whether that means guaranteed more shots, i’m not sure, but he will fully be able to display his talent now.

  • Prison Mike

    Too bad for LeBron, first Artest chooses to play in LA, then Michael Jackson has his funeral at the staples center. Nobody except Shaq has chosen cleveland.

  • cdef28

    Couldn’t agree more with ang on the point of Ariza. Trevor has a chance to be whatever he wants to be in Houston.

  • donovan

    Matt Barnes

  • Josh D

    Why do they want Ariza when he plays the same position as the best player on their team/in the World?

  • Superman_Osman

    The NBA, where bluffing with disregard to people’s future happens

  • Prison Mike

    Amen Superman. And people want to talk about what a great teammate he is. I like Ariza now. “Show me your signed contract before I sign mine.”

  • Prison Mike

    LeBron may leave Akron, but the Akron will never leave him.

  • yaway

    Ariza will be terrible with Lebron. Another role player on the Cavs. yuck

  • yaway

    Ariza does not deserve a 33 million dollar deal if he’s averging 8 and 4. I don’t see his offensive game developing anymore.

  • MagicChicken

    I hope Ariza can continue to develop in a system where he’s getting more eyes, but I still think he’d thrive on a team where he can support the main cast. As much as ppl want him to be Scottie Pippen, i really think he’s more like Robert Horry (or at least, he could’ve been if he stayed).

  • MagicChicken

    Oh, also, the Cavs should try to get Bruce Bowen. LA got Artest to stop Kobe, why not do the same Cleveland?

  • http://slamonline negativecreep

    Cleveland could have used a Rasheed Wallace,especially with Shaq down low, Varejao’s always gonna be a liability down the stretch. Also Ariza would have been a great fit for em’ Clevelands offense can sometimes be too 1 sided LeBron barreling down the lane/ or, the kick out. Imo, It would have huge to have another athletic young swingman type guy like Ariza who like LBJ can also drive to the lane & create, or help space the floor not to mention another guy who’s known for creating fast breaks. Ariza is also “long’ a weak area for them as well, he would have filled in allot of gaps.

  • http://www.broy7.com nate the great

    they have been saying this forever you fools!
    if they woulda signed a small forward.
    either ron ron or ariza, they woulda slid Lebron to the power forward spot.
    Sh!t they said that like years ago. so if ariza woulda went to the cavs, it woulda been.
    and ariza getting 8 and 4 coming off the bench play 10-12 minutes is pretty good.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Contradicting an earlier report, Chris Broussard writes that “sources close to the Cavaliers’ superstar” said that LeBron James did not tell Trevor Ariza he would remain in Cleveland after next season.

    A source told Broussard on Monday that James, in his pitch to get Ariza to sign in Cleveland, informed Ariza that he’ll play with the Cavaliers past 2010.

    “[B]ut on Tuesday, sources who spoke to James said the story told by the person close to Ariza was wrong,” Broussard reports.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    rumors kill

  • http://www.djagustine.com nate the great

    looks like Z also reads realgm.com?
    i know i do.

  • http://www.google.com nate the great

    realgm is pretty good, slams better, cause you can speak your mind.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Ariza will suck in Houston and will see that Kobe made him better, what a waste of money Houston, you have a problem!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    Lol at the Seed, kobe never made anyone better. That was Phil Jackson dude. See this is what I hate about fakeshow fans, last year they were touting ariza as a great kid, solid defensive player, future all-star, etc, but the moment he skips town he’s suddenly trash? f*ckouttahere with that sh*t

  • Caleb

    Are you really Melvin Ely?

  • Royal

    Melvin: Who ever said Ariza was a future all-star???

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I wonder when NBA teams are going to start trading coaches. LOL wouldn’t that be sweet?

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    @royal: ok poor choice of words I admit. But when the finals were going on, a lot of laker fans were praising the young guy for playing well and with heart, you gotta admit that he realy shone in some games. It just bugs me that these fans cheering him on when he was with LA, even being an important part of why they won the chip, and now they’re putting him down the moment they replaced him with that crazy person guy. That’s lame yall

  • COLT6

    Ariza can play 2. He should have taken bron’s bait. The Cavs need a better defender at the 2, props to D. West but he is too short. Like Turkoglu and Pietrus did in the ECF, RayRay, Kobe, J.R. Smith will shoot over him time and time again. Meanwhile, Mo Bluff Williams is only good for the regular season. The guy chokes in the playoffs, guaranteeing sh*t and all! Shaq will get his dunks thanks to Lebron and more importantly, Big Fella will provide the leadership that your supposed “King” clearly lacks. The Cavs need a bigger swingman who is both a lockdown defender and a knockdown shooter(Barnes or Bowen, anyone?) All that said, Melo and Kobe will lock horns again in the WCF next year. The East is wide open like Sasha Grey.

  • mookie

    Sasha Vujacic – Von Wafer – Smush Parker – Devin Green – Aaron McKie – Laron Profit – Luke Walton – Devean George – Lamar Odom – Brian Cook – Stanislav Medvedenko – Kwame Brown – Andrew Bynum

    Lakers actually made the playoffs with that team… and people still say Kobe doesn’t make players better? Halk of those players aren’t in the league and the rest, not on the lakers, are scrubs for their respective teams.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Melvin Ely if you are the real one, go practice on your game and two, Kobe won a Ring, but he sucked and is selfish no wonder you are a back up and three nobody said Ariza is an All star, he is a role player, who played a key role with the Lakers, and he will find out in Houston, there is no one for opposing teams to double like Pau and Kobe, especailly with Yao hurt and Ron playing with the lakers, no more spot up easy shots. His agent is his doom, Houston we have a problem!!!

  • http://slamonline negativecreep

    @melvin ely: your just searchin for reasons to hate on either LA’s fans or Mamba. Give it up man, a few “bad apples” don’t rep the majority of LA fans who, Much more than “you” are aware of Arizas contribution to the team, and were sad to see a guy go that has a bright future ahead of him (not in lA).He got bad advice from his agent and will most likely regret it especially for the next few years come june. And your comment about Kobe not making ANYONE better is Tired ass hell! So get off it, you dont become “the facilitator,’ win an MVP, and lead your team to back to back finals without making guys better and likewise. it go’s both ways

  • bill breedley

    The king’s been crowned!!!


    they had to swipe the tapes to avoid embarassing the king without a ring. pathetic!

  • http://sportzin.com Joey E.

    you guys hear Varjeao got a 6yr/50M extension? WOW

  • Mykaveli21

    LBJ needs to start making some demands instead of taking FA’s out to eat chatting and chewing like Carrie Bradshaw and the gang.

  • Yesse

    I just lost all of my respect for LeBron.He gets dunked on and wants to hide the video.

  • Pancho

    Yall can hate all you want on LeBron. But yall know you cant find reasons to hate on his game yet. Everything comes from off the court BS. He wears a t-shirt on vacation, Hate. He gets dunked on in a pickup game and his agents tell him its best to keep this in the down low, Hate. he crumbles to the dissapointment of the biggest loss of his career, Hate. But the truth is on the court there is nobody that can stop him, he will come even better than last year in 09/10, win another MVP, have another shot at a title, and keep getting better.

  • La Maravilla

    I’m with Pancho men!!!! I don’t even know u and I already like u bro everything u said is the truth nobody in the nba can’t stop LBJ The King 23 nobody!!!!!!! So get use to it HATERS

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ mookie: Von Wafer is definitely not a scrub.

  • Kelly

    To Melvin Ely: Could you please not use those “Cussing” words. I know. I know. I cannot tell you what to do; but it would be nice to get all the variety of opinions on this site and not have to read the (in my humble opinion) bad language.