August 15, 2014

NBA Rumor: Cleveland Cavaliers targeting summer of 2014, LeBron James

The whispers surrounding the worst kept secret amongst NBA circles are growing increasingly louder.

While many fans wonder when the Cleveland Cavaliers will make a move to help win basketball games, it appears that the answer is the summer of 2014 when LeBron James can opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat. In his piece which was filed for the Sunday morning paper, Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon-Journal writes that it is almost consenus feeling that Chris Grant and the Cavaliers are looking to bring James back to the Wine and Gold.

“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,” writes Lloyd. “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.”

It was James who famously left Cleveland after a free agency circus that led to The Decision and the then two-time MVP “taking his talents” to Miami to play for the Heat. He would win a NBA Championship one season later.

Alas, while the Cavaliers continue to have one of the most favorable cap situations in the league, they will not be taking on a bad contract — or one that carries beyond next season — for the sake of adding a four-to-five win player (a la Rudy Gay) this year. With Anderson Varejao injured, this all equates to a quiet trade deadline and a plan that could either blow up in their face similar to the New York Knicks, or allow them to strike gold — like the Heat — in pairing James with one of the best young talents in the game in Kyrie Irving.

James recently switched his representation to Rich Paul, a native Clevelander (and friend) who also represents Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson.

[Related: Cavaliers Film Room: The Recipe For Success]

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Sssssshhhhhh it was all LBJ’s fault, all of it, 1000%!

  • nxmehta

    If it leads to a championship, sure, bring him back.

  • mgbode

    we are past the stage of ignorance on LeBron (Nietzsche quote showed that ignorance of faults means you can live a dumb but happy life)

  • Captain Kidd

    And the Cavs would have the Heat’s unprotected first round pick the next year….ha

  • mgbode

    I think he may come back. but, it’ll be when he is a 36yo with destroyed knees and a shell of his prime powers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=12428289 Chris McLafferty

    Pass…seriously pass.

  • humboldt

    Yes, I was being ironic not literal.

    You seem to have strong tribalistic feelings about this issue – am not exactly being critical of it, but I do find it interesting that there is still such lingering animus that manifests whenever a story like this emerges. It strikes me that being open to LBJ’s return is not the same as absolving him of deplorable and manipulative actions in 2010, but you seem to be conflating the two.

  • He’ll be back

    Well I’m now 95% convinced the “Redemption is happening.. He’s always been one who wanted to be a global
    icon and knew couldn’t be that w/o rings so he chased them. But as much as
    he tried to play villain he isn’t one. You can tell it kills him that he
    is hated by so many still and how many bridges be burnt. To alleviate the hate and cement his legacy,
    he needs to win a ring in Cleveland or there will always be that
    asterisk. You can’t be the greatest of all-time if it took pairing up with your 2nd biggest rival to win a ring.That and being from Ohio and realizing how little it says for
    Cleveland as a city that it’s homegrown talent bolted the first chanceit got. I’m by no means saying
    that will be the deciding factor but for all he isn’t, Lbj is very
    self-aware. It took him awhile but I feel he sincerely feels bad for his
    actions and gratitude to the fans for all the support pre-Decision. Cleveland might not have the view of Miami but at least the place isn’t half empty til midway through the 1st. Oh and we have
    Kyrie. Lbj and kyrie and a bunch of role players is championship
    material. Oh and Lbj could have the luxury Kobe never had; having a
    fellow superstar approaching their prime as you go out of yours to help
    hide your diminishing skills. Kobe is still a baller but if had a
    Kyrie-level sidekick it would allow him to preserve himself more. And
    don’t say Howard I’m talking about a guy who the offense can run through
    consistantly. Before you rip me for supporting him coming back, know I
    still cheer for 2 teams; the Cavs and whoever Miami is playing until he
    makes the Decision to try to make things right. And he still wouldn’t
    be completely forgiven until he us that Championship he owes us!

  • mgbode

    my point is simple though. i do not think he will consider coming back. i think he likes the idea of people wanting him to come back (and he should – it would help his brand).

    i do not see why he would come back to our situation (he knows it will at least initially be rocky) when he has a ready-made contender in Miami, NY or other places he prefers and will receive near unanimous adulation in.

    therefore, i do not want our owners to go on the offensive for someone that will just rebuff them anyway. that doesn’t end well and i’d rather the full plan be how to get back to the mountaintop without him (why pass up Rudy Gay for the 1% chance that LeBron might consider rejoining us 2 years from now?).

    as I stated above, I enjoyed his time here. I have plenty of fond memories that still live in fondness. heck, i still wear my LeBron stuff when I play ball and have no harsh feelings about it (though i won’t buy any of his new stuff).

  • King James

    “for all of you suckers who DIDN’T burn your jersey, I’ll be wearing #24, to emulate my other boyhood idol, Kobe Bryant.” – LBJ

  • humboldt

    I share your disdain for Lebron’s near socio-pathic need to be wanted at the expense of large-scale suffering of others. I do think I harbor more optimism that he may have grown a bit more self-aware over the last several years, as many of us do from our early to late 20s. Putting the odds of his return at 1% seems quite a pessimistic assumption, but I grant that none of us have any real handle on what lies beneath the man/brand of Lebron James.

  • humboldt

    I frankly don’t think anyone in Miami cares…

  • He’ll be back

    In 2 years Miami is still a ready-made contender? I strongly dispute whether a 33 year old Dwyane Wade and the Rupaul of Big Men(thank you Shaq) isn’t a ready made contender. And I understand there are players who are productive at 33 but Wade plays very wreckless and that will take it’s tole eventually. That and his best attribute is his freakish athleticism. A slow Wade can still play but he’s not a top 5-10 player and that’s what set Miami over the top. However Kyrie could be a top 5 player in a few years. If Tristan, Waiters, or this years lotto pick are solid complimentary pieces Lebron would have to take a long hard look at Cleveland.

    And unless New York has blows up the roster they aren’t in position to sign Lebron. They have 4 guaranteed contracts in 2014; Chandler, Novak, Felton and Kidd which is about $25million. Luckily for them they have an early termination option on Amare($23mil) and Carmelo($24mil). But I think there is no chance in hell Lebron signs up to play w/ those 4 and something like 2 mid-level free agents or Carmelo, those 4 and a bunch of scrubs bcuz w/ Carmelo they are already at $49 million. Idk if they’d even be able to manipulate it to get Carmelo and Lebron because signing LBJ would put them over cap. Point being dont be so quick to write off the guys in Wine and Gold because we suck this year. Kyrie is enough to make LBJ look long and hard at Cleveland.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I disagree I think there is far less chance he does that but you do remind me of a Cleveland twist. He returns in 2014 the Cavaliers play well until James suffers his first major injury. This would be just Cleveland’s luck or tragedy.

  • He’ll be back

    New York’s situation or Kyrie, Tristan, Waiters, Andy, Zeller and 2 1st rounders next year for less than 35 mil? Add Lebron and the Cavs would still be under the cap! That’s 2 elite players and at least 2-3 serviceable role players. If we hit a home run this year in the draft(Shabazz/Noel), preorder your LBJ jerseys

  • MoreGolfLessWork

    The day the Cavaliers sign LeBron to a contract is the day that I will no longer support the organization. People who say “forgive and forget, it’s just sports” don’t understand the emotional investment some fans have. Have I forgiven LeBron for the way he left? Yes. Do I want him back on my team? No. I have forgiven, but not forgotten. It is smart to forgive, but extremely ill-advised to forget.

  • cmm13

    ESPN Sources report: “the grass is always greener…unless it’s in Cleveland.”

  • CBI

    Corrected! :)

  • http://twitter.com/expressojf Joseph Fedorko

    … yeah, I’m fickle enough to buy in.

  • Steve

    What I find most interesting is that it seems like the people who are most upset he left, are putting the most into getting Lebron back (but we’re just mad with the way he left, I swear!).

    This town embarrassed itself on national TV in the few days following that from the lamentations to the burning jerseys to the letter. We burned that bridge when Lebron left. Why on earth do we think he’s going to build it back up? Why should he even? Most people in this town still get into a tizzy when his name comes up, and learning from how we react to Modell’s name, we’re not going to be moving on anytime soon.

    Why exactly should Lebron put up with a town whose first reaction to anything remotely negative is a temper tantrum? So many people in this town want to ignore all the highlights Lebron brought us to be angry about the time he let us down (and how terrible a person is he for choosing what makes him happy and was best for him instead of placating us).

  • look out for flying pigs

    So the front office of the Cavs devised a plan for Lebron spent 5 years of his prime in Miami?

  • He’ll be back

    Yes she is. And she lost 30lbs, got a boob job and can remember the Kama Sutra verbatum now

  • Jared in LA

    Sadly, I agree that this is exactly what would happen. The guys has spent 10 years in the league relatively injury free. He’s due for a knee, shoulder, ankle or back problem.

  • zonk

    Better chance he joins the Canton Charge than the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not about Cleveland fans, it’s about that guy who owns the casino. The only thing Mr. G. likes more than money is his pride.