When it comes to players having power in a team’s front office, LeBron James is probably the most well-known case of such a thing occuring in the NBA. I mean, you don’t get the nickname ‘LeGM’ for nothing.
Even though he’s never admitted it, James did and still does hold a lot of power of the Cleveland Cavaliers front office, and though he isn’t the one actually making moves behind closed doors, he has in the past influenced general managers of the Cavs to build a team that he specifically wants. Two examples spring to mind, including pressuring the front office to re-sign J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson to mega-deals, which in hindsight, are absolutely terrible contracts, and repeatedly asking for “a f–king playmaker,” which happened to turn into Deron Williams last season.
Despite his sometimes overbearing attitude towards the FO in Cleveland, that doesn’t mean that the Cavs don’t like him playing some sort of role in their roster building efforts, as illustrated by the trade of Dwyane Wade back to Miami on Thursday.
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Cavs GM Koby Altman actually came to LeBron to make sure he was okay with Wade heading back to Miami.
I'm told by a Cavs source that GM Koby Altman went to LeBron James before they traded Dwyane Wade to make sure he understood what was behind the move. Altman told James that the decision would be up to Wade and James thought that was fair. Cavs felt… https://t.co/yJJGQzD5Kk
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 8, 2018
Obviously, LeBron thought that Wade heading back to the Heat was a good move for his career, and didn’t kick up a fuss, even if Miami only sent back a heavily-protected second-round pick.
If anything, this story just goes to show how much James and the Cavs front office communicate when making moves, be that free agent signings or trades, and makes you think just what other moves LeBron was heavily involved in this trade deadline period.