February 8, 2018Mr. Dan Gilbert, OwnerCleveland CavaliersQuicken Loans ArenaCleveland, Ohio
All I can say is....Bravo! I'd like to think that it was my letter from the other night that inspired you and Koby to make such a strong statement today at the NBA's trading deadline. But I'm guessing you guys were much too busy to read your mail over the last couple of days.
Instead, you and your staff rolled up your sleeves and got down to business.
Listen, I was tough on you the other night. I wasn't sure you had things under control over there at the Q and Cleveland Clinic Courts. I thought your cold war with LeBron James was going to cause another 'Decision,' that would doom your franchise to another stretch of ping pong ball lottery ineptitude.
Instead, look what happened:
- You recognized that Isaiah Thomas was (fairly or unfairly) the root cause of the problem. He's not 100% healthy, he's not in a position to succeed when he's not the ball-dominant guy on the floor, he plays zero defense, and he divided this team off-the-court. Maybe he'll regain his All-Star form, but it wasn't going to be here and you took care of the problem.
- You empowered Koby Altman to make a series of shrewd trades that will seemingly infuse some much-needed youth and energy into this team. It would have been a win-win just by trading Thomas and Channing Frye to the Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr. But by green-lighting the deals for George Hill and Rodney Hood, you've really given this team a chance to succeed now and in the future. I know that cost you more luxury tax money, Dan. I truly believe you'll see that it was worth it.
- You and Koby stood firm and wisely didn't part with the Brooklyn first-round draft pick, instead giving your own pick to the Lakers in the Thomas deal. That was very wise. As you found out in 2014, drafting a talented young player could pave the way to acquiring a superstar.
- Most importantly, you involved LeBron James in the process. You talked to him about sending best friend Dwyane Wade back to Miami so he'll finish his career with the team he started with, and give your roster the best chance to gel. Clearly, he felt energized by whatever your message was, given his tremendous performance against the T-Wolves. Remember Dan, it's not important that you and LeBron like each other, but it is important that you trust each other. It feels like you and he accomplished that in the last 48 hours, and it will go a long way towards keeping him here in Cleveland.
Sit back in your easy chair tonight and smile a little bit, Dan. You've earned it. You've restored my faith and the faith of many Cavaliers fans like me.
Now, let's enjoy a great stretch run and another crack at the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
See you at the Q!
Yours in being all in,