This is a new feature where I'll list Disaster Ratings (one being the least problematic, to 10 being code red) for NBA clubs involving offseason retirements and injuries. With some of the recent players going down or calling it quits, I thought it would be nice to have a new section where I can discuss and rate everything.
LeBron James Reportedly 100-Percent Leaving Cleveland: 10/10 Disaster Rating
About a month ago, I wrote that LeBron James leaving Cleveland would result in a 10/10 Disaster Grade for the Cavaliers, so here we are. According to a report, James is "100-percent" gone from Cleveland because owner Dan Gilbert made a $750,000 contribution to Donald Trump.
Of course, this is hardly breaking news. There has been speculation for a while that James would be heading to Los Angeles so he could pursue his promising Hollywood career. He's going to make some terrific movies that people will certainly pay lots of money for, so it makes lots of sense for him to play for the Lakers next year. Also, James referred to Los Angeles as "home," so that was another sign that he was planning on leaving Cleveland.
James' ire for Gilbert's political views is yet another strike against the Cavaliers keeping their best player, so it's almost certain at this point that he's gone. At this point, it would take a miracle to keep James in Cleveland, so I have no problem with issuing a 10/10 Disaster Grade a year in advance.
July 21 Updates
Kyrie Irving Asks for Trade: 7/10 Disaster Rating
And so begins the end of the Cavaliers. It's been widely speculated that LeBron James will be leaving Cleveland next summer to go to Los Angeles, but now it seems as though Irving will be departing as well.
What's curious about this is that according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Irving wants a trade because he doesn't want to play alongside James. Considering James will be leaving in 12 months, it's strange that Irving would ask to be dealt now, but it appears as though that he doesn't want to suffer another year playing with the self-proclaimed king. Irving reportedly wants to be the focal point of an offense; not some shadow behind James.
The Cavaliers are falling apart, and I've decided to go with an 7/10 Disaster Grade. It'll be a 10/10 when James leaves, but this is almost as bad; Irving is arguably a top-20 NBA player, and he was expected to at least keep Cleveland competitive in the wake of James' departure. That apparently will not be the case, though nothing is final quite yet. It's possible that Irving will change his mind, hence why this isn't an 8/10 or 9/10.