Odds on LBJ’s Future: Billups Out of Cavs GM Search

By Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/]

Chauncey Billups has made it known for quite some time now that he would like to run an NBA franchise. When the Cleveland Cavaliers surprisingly chose to part ways with GM David Griffin, it appeared the Cavaliers would be a perfect fit for Billups. But after consideration, Billups has decided to withdraw his name.

This raises the question, why would an individual who desires to run an NBA franchise not want to manage a roster centered around LeBron James and laden more talent? Well, the rumors have already circulated suggesting LeBron will be depart Cleveland for a second time next offseason, and this has to be the most damning evidence that there is some truth behind the chatter.

No individual would want to be responsible for cleaning up the mess left behind in Cleveland if James does abandon ship for a second time. Is this all a coincidence, or does Chauncey Billups know James’ desire to move west? Either way, the Cavs lack of a GM is certainly harmful, as they have yet to make any upgrades to a roster that fell in five to Golden State in the finals.

We likely won’t receive a firm answer from LeBron anytime this season, but that won’t stop us from providing you with the odds on everything Cavaliers.

Odds Carmelo Anthony becomes a Cavalier in 2017-18: 2/1

There’s no doubt Anthony wants out of the dumpster-fire that is the New York Knicks, but he’s still under contract through the 2018-19 season (with an early termination option in the final year). The Knicks have made it clear they do not wish to buy Melo out, preferring to acquire some assets in return. The ten-time All-Star is willing to waive his no-trade clause if the destination is Cleveland or Houston.

If a deal is to be made with Cleveland, it would likely involve Kevin Love and a third team, which would require the work of a GM.

Odds Cleveland makes a fourth consecutive NBA Finals: 1/3

James and the Cavaliers walked through the Eastern Conference playoffs last season, only losing one game en route to the NBA Finals. Though they haven’t added to their roster, they also haven’t lost any key contributors.

The Boston Celtics have landed Gordon Hayward, but failed to acquire Jimmy Butler or Paul George. Hayward alone doesn’t shift the balance of power.

Odds Cleveland wins the 2018 NBA Finals: 6/1

Even if the Warriors are devastated by injuries and fall short in their title defense, both the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs would likely be deemed favorites in a matchup with the Cavaliers.

Odds LeBron James leaves Cleveland in the 2018 offseason: 1/1

If there were no risk of James leaving, Chauncey Billups would be the Cavs GM right now. LeBron owns a mansion in Los Angeles, and has feuded with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert over the last year — not to mention after his previous departure. A second divorce is becoming more and more likely.

Odds LeBron jerseys are burnt if he leaves Cleveland again: 1/99

These are sports fans we’re talking about.

Odds on LeBron’s 2018 team if he leaves Cleveland

  • Los Angeles Lakers: 5/3
  • Houston Rockets: 4/1
  • Los Angeles Clippers: 3/1
  • FIELD: 33/7

It has become clear LeBron needs quite a bit more help to take down the Warriors, so joining Lonzo Ball and potentially Paul George in LA would be very attractive. Had the Clippers been able to retain Chris Paul, they would be the second-best option for James. That honor follows Paul to Houston now.

Odds Kyrie Irving demands a trade if LeBron leaves: 1/2

Had LeBron not come back to Cleveland, Irving would already be gone. He has no attachment to the city, and a clear desire to team up with other stars, namely LeBron James.

Odds Chauncey Billups ever runs an NBA franchise: 3/7

Billups is still young and has been in the running for a couple of GM jobs now. The right opportunity will present itself shortly for the five-time All-Star.