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Fact or fiction . . . or friction

Because Cleveland was ground zero for the influx of free-agent news and rumors Thursday, it’s a little difficult to separate fact from fiction. Or should that be friction? But we gave it the old college try.

• The New York Post’s  Fred Kerber reports that Jay-Z’s pitch to his friend included proposed clothing and fragrance lines, along with opportunities in entertainment. 

• In an article for Bloomberg, Erik Matuszewski cites Forbes’ report that the average NBA franchise is worth $367 million and then quotes Michael Cramer, the former president of baseball’s Texas Rangers and hockey’s Dallas Stars who teaches sports business at New York University, as saying that if James leaves: “I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cavaliers in a year or two are below the league average in terms of value. One player has a tremendous impact, especially in the NBA, and especially when you’re talking about one of the top two or three visible, recognizable players not only in the league, but in all of professional sports.”

Former Portland Trail Blazers President Bob Whitsitt told Matuszewski, “If I asked today what could you sell the Cavaliers for, obviously the first question is, ‘Is LeBron on the team or not?’ If he’s not on the team, you’re probably going to be looking at something that starts with a 2, maybe $250 million. If he’s on the team, you’re looking at something that starts with a 5.”

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