Report: Cleveland Cavaliers eyeing LeBron James in 2014 free agency
By Zach Harper | NBA Blogger
January 13, 2013 5:56 pm ET
I wonder if they have this in storage somewhere ... (Getty Images)
Set your DVRs for The Decision Part 2: Electric Boogaloo. It could be one of the greatest redemption stories we've ever seen in basketball.
Do you remember the summer of 2010 when all hell broke loose during LeBron James' free agency announcement special? There were jerseys burned in Cleveland, people arrested on the streets, and message boards flamed for months about how terrible of a person James was and how cowardly he was for leaving Cleveland to join up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. It was quite the spectacle during the show and for well over a year after everything went down.
The Cleveland Cavaliers apparently are willing to forget all of that as they shape their roster for the future. According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, the Cavs are positioning themselves to make a run at LeBron James when he can be a free agent in 2014:
Executives and agents around the league are convinced the Cavaliers won't do anything to jeopardize their ability to sign a free agent to a max contract during the summer of 2014, when LeBron James can again become a free agent. As fans in Northeast Ohio continue to howl and remain divided about the possibility of his return, more and more people around the league believe there is a strong possibility James will indeed return to Cleveland after next season.
The Cavs are well aware of this, too, and won't take on a bad contract if it compromises their cap space in two years. That means any bad contract they would obtain in a potential trade would have to expire after next season. It doesn't make a deal impossible, but it dramatically reduces the field — and it decreases the price the Cavs can command since their future obligations would be brief.
That would certainly be a plot twist in this entire LeBron James-Cleveland saga.
From the feeling of abandonment and accusations of cowardliness to Dan Gilbert's strongly Comic Sans'd letter to the copious amounts of vitriol thrown LeBron's way over the first two years after he left for Miami, it would certainly be an odd show of contrition and maturity for both sides if this actually happened. We have no way of knowing just how likely this is and how receptive to the idea LeBron would be, but it would certainly make a lot of news.
The Cavs would essentially have Kyrie Irving as the running mate next to LeBron. The two are reportedly very close and with Irving's ascension into the NBA stratosphere of stardom, it would be an attractive talent to team up with. And perhaps if Tristan Thompsoncontinues to show what he's shown this month and if Tyler Zeller or Dion Waiters are able to grow into being a good player, there would be enough good talent and roster flexibility to woo LeBron away from Miami.
There have also been rumors about the Lakers going after James when he's a free agent and you can be assured about a dozen other teams will attempt to clear space to try to tempt LeBron to bring his talents to their city. But will they be able to offer the same story of redemption as LeBron could have with Cleveland? What if he still wants to bring a title to his home state? Will the fans accept him? Would this quest for redemption endear him to the rest of the basketball world?
Isn't this the kind of story that everybody would eat up? That is assuming you're not a fan of the team he flirts with and then doesn't sign with, of course.
(H/T - SLAM Online)
What kind of story would be that? lol
If he goes anywhere, i hope it's the Cavs.
I would like for him to end his career in Cleveland in hopes of giving them what he promised (a ring), but I wouldn't blame him if he didn't rejoin the Cavs either.
If lebron goes back to the cavs and manages to win a title his argument for GOAT would increase a lot.
@toruk; not really, he'd be winning alongside another #1 pick and two top 5 picks, completely different to winning it before. It'd be more like Shaq winning in Miami than Hakeem winning in Houston.
I agree with you, it would easier and different than winning before. still, It's not about being hard. It's about fulfilling his promise of bringing a title to Cleveland, being humble and making peace with the city that used to love him but felt betrayed. It's more of a emotional boost to the argument than talent wise. It would change his legacy.
This has been talked about for more than a year, even during his first year in Miami. I think regardless of whether he wins a tittle this year, if he wins one in 2014, than I think he'll leave on a high note after having lead Miami to multiple championships. But I think ever since he realized how much hate he got for leaving Cleveland, I think deep down he really wanted to go back and make things right and lead them to a 'ship. Imagine Lebron, Kyrie, Tristan Thompson(been a beast since Andy went down, 14 and 13 a game) a solid and legit 7-footer in Tyler Zeller who's been coming on nicely, Dion Waiters looks like a solid scorer from the guard position, he must improve his jump shot though because 37% shooting is not going to cut it, but he has shown nice flashes and I think he'll compliment Kyrie nicely. You have a solid role player in Alonzo Gee who is a keeper, and then you have potentially a mid-late first from the Lakers this year or next, plus your own two picks, both of which figure to be lotto picks. Kyrie is looking like an Elite top 10 player in just his second season, he could be the 2nd or even the best PG in the game by the summer of 2014, plus two high lotto picks, Thompson, Waiters, and Zeller, and now you add a 29 year old Lebron to the equation, that looks like a dream team to me, I know this is just speculation, but imagine if they get Bazz this year, and then they struggle next year again and get a guy like Poythress or Isaiah Austin, imagine how stacked they'd be. To me, if the situation is right for him to leave Miami, there's no doubt he's going to Miami.
Kyrie-Shabazz or McLemore-LeBron-Thompson-Varejao
This is realistic scenario. This team would be the best in the league and still under the cap. After that season they can resign some guys and some guys let go
LeBron going to the Cavs would be great for the NBA and himself. I don't think he is going to leave the HEAT, but if he goes anywhere it should be the Cavs. Other than that I think he retires in Miami.
I don't think he retires in Miami. Wade is on the way out, Bosh isn't reliable enough to continue the championship run and Lebron has no particular loyalty to Miami, same with Shaq and LA, he'll probably take off and start hunting rings like Shaq did in his later career.
Why is Wade on his way out again?
I meant on the way out of his prime, he's slowing down and his shooting isn't good enough for him to be as effective as Kobe as he ages. By the time Lebron is a FA he'll be a shadow of the player he was pre-Lebron.
However, Wade will still be making a huge amount of money, so it will be difficult to build a team capable of winning a chip with an overpaid Wade on the tail end of his career.
Never going to happen. Enjoy the rumors though.
Why wouldn't it happen? The only thing I see preventing this is Dan Gilbert's ego, which might play a much bigger role than we could all imagine.
This, Cleveland fans are opening a new chapter in their franchise and want to forget about LeBron. I'm not even going to entertain the thought of him coming back. What's happened has happened move on, i'd rather not forgive and forget. Irving, Thompson, Waiters, Zeller and another top draft pick is much more exciting than a possible LeBron return.
If the cavs have kyrie irving and they trade for a great young bigman then they will be set if they get lebron. I personally would like to see it. I think that if the cavs are willing to invest in 3 max players or 2 max players and a pretty good bigman then it would work. It would also extend lebrons career if they could get it so that he only had to play 30 to 35 mins a night and not have to be the playmaker, scorer and rebounder of the team. If he could be a part time playmaker and have another rebounder on the team so that he could focus on scoring and making plays on offense occasionally, when kyrie is off the floor and playing elite defense it would be a great fit for lebron and the cavs.
I wonder if David Stern will give Miami the no1 pick if lebron leaves and the heat are lottery bound....
David Stern will be retired by then, so if someone is going to rig the draft it will have to be Adam Silver.
It would be a great story and you can see some logic in it, a 29 year old prime LeBron goes on a team with a lot of young guys on the up and you have a potential 10 year dynasty. The problem would be if all the high picks come off then the Cavs would have a very large salary level in a few years time - LeBron would be max deal level even if he accepted a bit less, Irving is likely on a near max deal when he renews, lets say Waiters, Thompson and Nerlens Noel/Cody Zeller ( their pick this year) also progress well then you'd have another 3 guys all looking at deals probably in $10 to $12 million a year range.
Okay LeBron would generate a load of revenue and the team would be real contenders but the luxury tax would still be a hit.
Realistically I think LeBron will stay in Miami for another contract with D-Wade or Bosh but when he is say 32/33 he could well look to go back to Cleveland and give them another few years.
Lebron coming back and leading the Cavs to a title would be the only way for him to permanently cleanse his reputation with all Cavs fans. Even so I have a hard time imagining him going back.
LeBron going back to Cleveland would be like feeling sorry for an ex-girlfriend you broke up with and giving her another chance later on because you feel bad and realized you did her wrong.
I think it's time for both sides to move on. The Cavs are headed in the right direction. They can forgive him for what he did, but they shouldn't want him back.
He'd still give them the best chance at winning a championship so I don't see why they wouldn't take him back.
That ex-girlfriend happens to be Adriana Lima
he's not going back to cleveland....i wouldnt even get my hopes up for that lol. its a very interesting story and news line tho