LeBron James is frustrated and the Timberwolves are partly to blame

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: LeBron James
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: LeBron James /

USA Today links LeBron James’ offseason frustration to the Minnesota Timberwolves twice.

Here is something that is probably not all that shocking: LeBron James is not real happy with how things are going with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ offseason. The Cavs hit the offseason needing to bulk up after, with the exception of one game, being rolled easily in the NBA Finals by the Golden State Warriors. According to USA Today, LeBron’s heartache this summer has come from the Minnesota Timberwolves multiple times.

USA Today starts the report off with LeBron not being happy with the decision from Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to let general manager David Griffin and vice president of basketball operations Trent Redden go. As much as it is joked that LeBron is the GM of Cleveland, it’s hard to get any deals done without the two top basketball people in the organization in place.

That leads us to the first heartache due to the Timberwolves and the curious case of Jimmy Butler. From USA Today:

"“Further exacerbating James’ frustration is the Cavs were close to making a deal for then-Chicago Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler the day Gilbert decided to mutually part ways with Griffin and Redden, two people familiar with negotiations told USA TODAY Sports.”"

Then the Timberwolves also signed Jamal Crawford, a guy that LeBron, apparently, really wanted on his team. From USA Today:

"“The Crawford signing stung. The Cavs were in the running for the three-time Sixth Man of the Year. But the Cavs offered just the minimum salary ($2.3 million a season) when they had the taxpayer midlevel ($5.19 million per season) available.James was active in recruiting Crawford, and Crawford appreciated James’ efforts to get him to Cleveland. James did his part. But the Timberwolves offered $4.45 million a season. Instead, the Cavs gave part of the taxpayer midlevel exception to Turkish big man Cedi Osman, who is unlikely to make an impact in 2017-18.”"

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It’s not real shocking that LeBron is frustrated. The Cavaliers haven’t done much, if any, upgrading this offseason while the Warriors have improved. LeBron’s frustration, though, is a showing of how great the Timberwolves offseason has been. For the Timberwolves to get two players that LeBron wanted is fantastic. LeBron’s desire shows how good Butler and Crawford really are.

The long-term consequences for the Cavaliers are severe. If LeBron is truly unhappy, he can leave after the 2017-18 season.

Kevin Durant just signed for less than he was worth with the Warriors to help bolster his team, maybe that means LeBron will sign for less to complete a super team in Minnesota next offseason? We can always dream.

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