Dan Gilbert Rumors
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said he’s spending a near-record amount on salaries and luxury taxes because it would be foolish not to. “When you invest in something like a sports franchise and you’re in for so much … if you at the margins start pulling back I think it may be foolish on a lot of fronts,” Gilbert said. “We’re all in.”
With the exception of James, who is can be a free agent next summer, the Cavs now have their entire core locked up for the next four years, as Kyrie Irving is at the start of a new extension he signed last year. Gilbert said that was a driving force behind all the spending in the offseason. “These guys who are under these large contracts, that’s a core for four or five years,” Gilbert said. “That’s an eternity in this league. As we’ve seen with NBA franchises, that formula can work.”
The Cavs still have a $10.5 million trade exception they could use if needed, but that would take their payroll to more than $200 million. Gilbert didn’t say if he was willing to use it this season and also didn’t say how long he was willing to spend at this level. “We look at this year by year. There’s so many factors, so many things can change,” Gilbert said. “We always like to have options. It’s not so much the amount of payroll, the question is if you can maneuver. If the team goes a certain way, are all the contracts valuable? Can your general manager still play chess. We never try to say this is [the budget]. It really is how it operates.”
LeBron James said Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is “committed to winning” after the team signed all seven of their free agents from last season, with $330 million tied up in Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, and Iman Shumpert. James’ opinion of Gilbert is important because, of course, James could become a free agent again next summer. “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.