Cleveland Cavaliers' owner Dan Gilbert can empathize with the decision made by the Oklahoma City Thunder to trade James Harden before he hit free agency.
Gilbert was relating the Cavaliers' experience with LeBron James to Sam Presti's preemptive trade of Harden to the Rockets. Gilbert expressed reget being unable to trade James to provide a return for the Cavaliers.
”The key thing, whoever you are and wherever you are, you can not wait,” Gilbert said. ”The big lesson was if a player is not willing to extend, no matter who they are, no matter where they are playing, no matter what kind of season you had, you can not risk going into a summer and having them leave in unrestricted free agency and get nothing back for it.”
James was eventually moved to the Miami Heat in a sign-and-trade that gave the Cavaliers a future first round pick.
“I’m sure the player or whoever would have said, ‘Of course I would have stayed. You guys screwed up and ruined the whole franchise.’ You’re in a no-win situation,” said Gilbert.