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LeBron James took a passive-aggressive dig at Cavaliers management while praising one of his teammates

LeBron James seems to be on odd terms with Cleveland Cavaliers management these days.

Last Monday, after a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, James criticized the roster construction, calling the Cavaliers "top-heavy as s---," saying they need a "f---ing playmaker," and would be in trouble if he or Kyrie Irving got injured.

Later on in the week, Cavs GM David Griffin shot back saying James' criticisms were "misguided" and that the team needs to improve from within.

An ESPN report later said that James and owner Dan Gilbert's relationship is "straining" over team spending, with James feeling the Cavs aren't investing enough in new players. The Cavs paid an NBA record $161 million in payroll and taxes last season.

Though the Cavs don't appear to be on the verge of any major moves, and Griffin said he had a productive talk with James last week, James still managed to squeeze in another shot on Sunday after a 107-91 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

While praising Tristan Thompson's play, James said (via ESPN's Dave McMenamin), "He's the one rim protector that we have, and we need him to continue to do that."

30 PHOTOS
LeBron James through the years
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LeBron James through the years
File photo of high school basketball star LeBron James getting set for a foul shot during the annual Jordan Capital Classic high school all-star game in Washington, April 17, 2003. James will hold a press conference at his high shool in Akron, Ohio April 25, 2003, where he is expected to state his intentions concerning the upcoming NBA draft. James is expected to be the number one pick should he make himself available for the draft. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn-Files GMH/HB
Lebron James announces his entrance into the NBA draft, during a press conference at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, April 25, 2003. The six-foot-eight James, 18, is expected by many to be the number one selection in the draft on June 26. REUTERS/Jason Cohn JC/HB
LeBron James (R) shakes hands with National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern after being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the first pick in the 2003 NBA Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York, June 26, 2003. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton PM
Cleveland Cavaliers first draft pick LeBron James speaks with reporters following a picture session at Gund Arena, in Cleveland, October 2, 2003. REUTERS/Ron Kuntz RK/ME
Cleveland Cavalier rookie forward LeBron James (23) shoots over New Orleans Hornets defenders Baron Davis (1) and David Wesley (4), in the fourth period of NBA action in Cleveland, Ohio, December 23, 2003. James 22 points was the high scorer for the Cavaliers who defeated the Hornets 97-86. REUTERS/Marc Serota MS
Paul Pierce (R) of the Boston Celtics and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers chat while the scoreboard is fixed during the fourth quarter of their game at Gund Arena, February 9, 2004. The Cavaliers won, 97-89. REUTERS/Ron Kuntz RK
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (C) gets a layup as Seattle Supersonics forward Rashad Lewis (L) and Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki look on, during the first half of the 54th NBA All-Star Game in Denver, February 20, 2005. REUTERS/John Gress JM
Eastern Conference forward LeBron James holds the Most Valuable Player trophy at the 55th NBA All-Star Game in Houston, Texas February 19, 2006. The East defeated the Western Conference 122-120. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James questions a call during their NBA playoff game against the Washington Wizards in Washington May 5, 2006 Cleveland defeated Washington, 114-113, to advance in the NBA playoffs. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Forward LeBron James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, works on his jump shot at morning practice during the first day of training camp for the USA men's basketball team in Las Vegas July 19, 2006. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) shoots over New York Knicks forward Quentin Richardson (L) and guard Stephon Marbury (R) in the fourth quarter of their NBA basketball game in New York's Madison Square Garden, November 13, 2006. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James is seen on the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles, California, February 15, 2007. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James goes through his pregame powder ritual prior to the start of Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first round NBA playoff basketball game in Cleveland, Ohio April 25, 2007. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James answers media questions before practice for their NBA Finals basketball series against the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio, Texas, June 8, 2007. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James (L) celebrates after dunking against the New Orleans Hornets David West during the NBA All-Star basketball game in New Orleans, Louisiana February 17, 2008. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James (L) is guarded by Chicago Bulls Thabo Sefolosha (R) during the first quarter of their NBA basketball game in Cleveland, April 3, 2008. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James drives to the basket during the third quarter of their NBA basketball game in Cleveland January 9, 2009. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers Lebron James sits with his girlfriend Savana Brinson and son Bryce Maximus during the Rookie Challenge at the NBA All-Star basketball weekend in Phoenix, Arizona, February 13, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James speaks after being named the NBA Most Valuable Player during a ceremony at his alma mater St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio May 4, 2009. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES SPORT BASKETBALL)
Miami Heat's LeBron James celebrates after Mario Chalmers scored a three pointer against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, December 25, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Miami Heat's LeBron James (R) stands with Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade during Game 5 of the NBA Finals basketball series in Dallas, June 9, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Miami Heat's LeBron James watches a shot against the Dallas Mavericks through the net during the second half in Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball series in Miami, June 2, 2011. REUTERS/David J. Phillip/Pool (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Miami Heat's LeBron James dunks against the Washington Wizards in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida December 15, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Miami Heat's LeBron James speaks at a press conference after his team defeated the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of their NBA Finals basketball playoff in Miami, Florida June 20, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Dec 19, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) makes a pass against the Brooklyn Nets during the second quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James wears an " I Can't Breathe" t-shirt during warm ups prior to the game against the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn, New York, December 8, 2014. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo
June 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James speaks to media following the 104-91 loss against the Golden State Warriors in game five of the NBA Finals. at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 19, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after beating the Golden State Warriors in game seven of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 21: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers pauses on the court during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at Quicken Loans Arena on January 21, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Spurs defeated the Cavaliers 118-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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It's a subtle dig, but the implication is that James feels the Cavs are lacking big men to hold down the paint. Of course, in the offseason, the Cavaliers let Timofey Mozgov walk in free agency. They later signed veteran center Chris Andersen, but he tore his ACL early in the season, leaving the Cavs with little depth at center.

According to McMenamin, Thompson wasn't thrilled with James' criticisms, but generally brushed them off.

"Everyone has got to take a step forward and just be 1 percent better. So, LeBron's comments is what it is. I really don't give a f---. I just got to keep playing better. We got to keep playing harder."

Once again, James is letting it be known that he's not happy with where the Cavaliers are, and he's making certain that management knows about it.

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21 PHOTOS
Sports photos of the week: 1/20 - 1/27
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Sports photos of the week: 1/20 - 1/27
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 26: Goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Arizona Coyotes sprays water in his face during a break from the second period of the NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Gila River Arena on January 26, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 26: Kyle Washington #24 of the Cincinnati Bearcats goes to the basket against J.P. Macura #55 and RaShid Gaston #35 of the Xavier Musketeers in the second half of the game at Fifth Third Arena on January 26, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Xavier 86-78. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 26: A general view of play during game five of the One Day International series between Australia and Pakistan at Adelaide Oval on January 26, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz - CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 22: Andy Murray of Great Britain is silhouetted as he serves in his fourth round match against Mischa Zverev of Germany on day seven of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Jim Nantz interviews Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots after the Patriots defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 to win the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Logan Ryan #26 of the New England Patriots attempts to break up a pass inteded for Cobi Hamilton #83 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 22: Jared Cook #89 of the Green Bay Packers fails to make a catch in the endzone in the first quarter against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
TOLUCA, MEXICO - JANUARY 22: Silhouettes of Gabriel Hauche of Toluca struggles for the ball with Mateus Goncalves of Chiapas during a match between Toluca and Chiapas as part of the Clausura 2017 Liga MX at Nemesio Diez Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Toluca, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/LatinContent/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal is challenged by Dean Marney of Burnley during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Burnley at the Emirates Stadium on January 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 22: A general view of Rod Laver court as Roger Federer of Switzerland plays in his fourth round match against Kei Nishikori of Japan on day seven of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 20: A general view as Andy Murray of Great Britain plays a backhand in his third round match against Sam Querrey of the United States on day five of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 21: Serena Williams of the United States serves in her third round match against Nicole Gibbs of the Unites States on day six of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 21, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Russia's Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov compete during the pairs free short program of the European Figure Skating Championship in Ostrava on January 25, 2017. / AFP / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 23: Markell Johnson #11 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack dunks against the Duke Blue Devils during the game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 23, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 23: Derek MacKenzie #17 of the Florida Panthers lays a body check onto Connor Murphy #5 of the Arizona Coyotes during the first period of the NHL game at Gila River Arena on January 23, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 24: Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers reacts after being fouled by Nerlens Noel #4 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the fourth quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on January 24, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Clippers 121-110. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - 27/1/17 Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov reacts during his Men's singles semi-final match against Spain's Rafael Nadal. REUTERS/Edgar Su TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Figure Skating - ISU European Championships 2017 - Pairs Free Skating - Ostrava, Czech Republic, 26/1/17. Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek of Italy compete. REUTERS/David W Cerny TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - 26/1/17 Venus Williams of the U.S. celebrates winning her Women's singles semi-final match against Coco Vandeweghe of the U.S. .REUTERS/Edgar Su TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Jan 22, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett (88) celebrates after the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2017 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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