LeBron James has helped entice several players to join the Cavaliers in recent years, but he’s apparently keeping quiet this offseason.
ESPN reports an unidentified source says James is “not actively recruiting free agents” as the team pursues the players on its wish list. The NBA’s free-agent signing period opened Saturday.
It’s interesting Calipari potentially desires a return to the NBA. After failing at that level as a head coach (72-112), he would presumably have more “recruiting” power as a team president.
While it appears the Knicks are not interested in Calipari at this time, there is abundant history suggesting Calipari often gets what he wants.
I’ve written before that as a long-term solution, this is unlikely to work. The only player in 50 years to transition from first base to third base at the major league level without having played third base before was Enos Cabell. The Braves, however, are 40-42 after losing 16-4 to the Houston Astros, so there’s nothing for them to lose with this experiment. FanGraphs estimates their playoff odds at about 3 percent, so why not try it and keep Matt Adams’ bat in the lineup.
The hope is that maybe Freeman can play third as well as Cabrera did for the Tigers in 2012-13, when he won back-to-back MVP awards. Cabrera, of course, had played third earlier in his career before moving to first for three seasons. His range wasn’t great, but he had good hands and made just 25 errors over those two seasons. He was credited with minus-4 Defensive Runs Saved in 2012 and minus-18 in 2013. If Freeman can be a minus-18 defender, his bat makes up for that and Adams will produce more offense than whoever the Braves were going to play at third.