And if there’s one team specifically that has spoiled what LeBron hoped would be an offseason spent retooling Cleveland’s roster to better compete with Golden State, it is none other than your Timberwolves.
Per the story:
James soon found his anticipation and optimism diminished after Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert dismantled the front office, declining days before the draft and free agency to bring back general manager David Griffin and vice president of basketball operations Trent Redden. … 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.
And then …
The Minnesota Timberwolves traded for Butler and signed Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford in free agency. 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.
Now, it’s pretty obvious from the angle of this story that it comes from the perspective of the James camp (the “James did his part” line pushes it over the edge). But it is interesting to see how the Wolves twice thwarted the Cavaliers in the pursuit of players LeBron wanted.
Then again, the last laugh could be on the Wolves if LeBron plays out his final year in Cleveland and bolts for the Lakers in free agency next year, making the West even more impossible to navigate.