Dan Gilbert, the billionaire owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is spending tons of money to try and bring the city their first-ever NBA championship.
LeBron James, who reconciled with Gilbert following his infamous 2010 departure to South Beach, says he’s thrilled with his boss’s willingness to pay for such high-priced talent.
With All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, power forward Kevin Love and center Tristan Thompson now locked up to huge long-term deals—$330 million is tied up in just four players on the Cavs’ roster—LeBron knows (and has strategically ensured) that Gilbert will not let dollars and cents get in the way of a title chase.
Per the NEOMG:
“It’s a sign that he’ll do anything to help us go out there and perform,” James said of Gilbert’s spending. On Thursday, Cleveland inked Thompson to a five-year, $82 million contract. […] With Thompson’s signing, the Cavs’ payroll and likely luxury tax penalty ballooned to a combined $170 million. Over the summer, James agreed to a $47 million deal ($23 million this season), Love signed a $113 million contract over five years, and (Iman) Shumpert signed a four-year, $40 million deal.
James has said his unique contracts — short, maximum salary deals with a player’s option to terminate the deal after one year — are a means for him to maximize his financial flexibility. […] The deal he signed in July is set up that way, meaning he’ll likely opt out next summer and sign a new, short deal, as he did with the contract he signed in 2014. […] Theoretically, James could use his annual free agency to force the Cavs to spend and keep the team competitive or risk losing him. But Gilbert lived up to his end.
“I’m not comparing us to the New York Yankees, because we’re not, we’re so no where near compared to the New York Yankees, but they have one of the highest payrolls every year,” James said. “They don’t win it every year but that’s what they believe in. They believe in going out there and getting the best talent that can play. When you have an ownership group or a collection round that believes what it’s going to take, then money is not an object.”