The Miami Heat are going to pitch LeBron James today on returning to South Beach, but returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers has to intrigue the superstar.
The Cavs roster is younger and could win with James in the starting lineup. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert also has a history of sparing no expense to sink money into James-centric team.
The Cavs might have had lousy players surrounding James during his first stint in Cleveland, but that doesn’t change the fact Gilbert was willing to spend. Chances are he’ll continue to so. You don’t start a company called Quicken Loans to take your sweet old time.
Cleveland.com writer Terry Pluto wrote a column this morning about an imaginary conversation Gilbert should have with James.
Pluto points out that the Heat got rid of Mike Miller and cut $2 million as the team was gearing up for its third straight title. The luxury cap might’ve been a problem for Miami owner Mickey Arison, but it appears as it means nothing to Gilbert.
In the last two years, Miami dolled out $162 million on payroll. In James’ last two season with the Cavs, Gilbert spent $173 million.
Pluto also reports Gilbert paid $43 million into the luxury cap during James’ final three seasons in Cleveland.
Miami paid no luxury tax its first year with James, and $19 million in years two and three. The franchise will pay something this year, but it won’t come close to touching what the Cavs shelled out.
Gilbert’s willing to pay to put the pieces around James. The key is picking the right players, and that falls on David Griffin.