Can Paxson find more help for LeBron?

Originally Published: April 27, 2004
By Chad Ford | NBA Insider
Right now, the Cavs' organization looks a little like this. LeBron James is the savior. Carlos Boozer is the sidekick. Paul Silas is the captain. Jim Paxson is the CEO.

To quote from Sesame Street -- one of these things is not like the other.

James has proved after just one year in the league that he has the potential to be a top-five player in the league within the next couple of seasons. That's all anyone can ever ask from a No. 1 pick.

Boozer has proved to be the perfect complement. While LeBron scores points and hands out assists, Boozer does the clean-up work. He crashes the glass, posts up in the paint, throws his body around and does all of the little things teams want in a No. 2. He's not flashy or pretty, but he gets the job done.

Silas has always been a pretty good coach. What he proved in Cleveland was that he knows who to get along with and who to shun. He embraced LeBron and Boozer. He figured out a way to get their 7-foot-3 center, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, involved. When the team needed a point guard, he rehabilitated Jeff McInnis on the fly. When trouble makers like Ricky Davis started pouting -- he kicked them to the curb, quickly.

Paxson? That's another story altogether. You've got to hand it to the guy. He was on the ropes. It appeared (though the Cavs deny it) that he intentionally gutted a rebuilt roster to put the team in position to get the No. 1 pick and a shot at LeBron. It was a gutsy move that paid off. Suddenly, with that one pick (and a nice call on Boozer in the second round) he went from whipping boy to being mentioned as a possible candidate for Executive of the Year.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. James, Boozer and Silas are three critical components to the Cavs' success. But if this team is going to turn into a championship contender, then Paxson will have to make some tough choices this summer.


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Chad Ford | email

Senior Writer, NBA Insider

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