Sportress of Blogitude

Source: Dan Gilbert won’t do ‘what it takes to keep’ LeBron James

LeBron James is by no means a lock to remain with the Cleveland Cavaliers following this season. In fact, it would appear Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is prepared to effectively run James out of Cleveland. At least that’s the suspicion forwarded by sources quoted in a recent column from Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck.

Reports out of Cleveland this season have indicated that the relationship between James and the Cavs management, specifically Gilbert, has significantly soured. However, James was said to be encouraged by the work from new general manager Koby Altman at the trade deadline, moves that reinvigorated James and seemingly got the Cavs back on track.

That said, it would appear Altman’s savvy moves have taken away some of the sting of the departure of former GM David Griffin, with whom James enjoyed a close relationship.

Gilbert, however, is another story. Via Beck’s piece.

“LeBron wants to be in charge of everything, which is what puts him at odds with Dan,” one source said. “Dan wants to be in charge of everything.”

The belief is that Gilbert, having reasserted control after chasing out Griffin, will rebuff James’ request for a no-trade clause, or any other measures that give him leverage. And that will be enough to drive James away.

“Dan Gilbert’s not going to do what it takes to keep him,” the same source predicted. “Not a chance in hell he’s going to give him a no-trade clause, or let him dictate contract terms.”

The notion that Gilbert cares more about consolidating — and keeping — his power than doing whatever it takes to retain James is somewhat confounding, although not surprising. Still, if James does elect to move on from Cleveland for a second time, it certainly appears Gilbert’s reluctance to play ball may play a significant role.