Lakers News: Cavaliers open to reunion with LeBron James – All Lakers



Would current Los Angeles Lakers All-NBA forward LeBron James be open to a third period of service with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that drafted him first overall from St. Vincent–St . Mary High School in 2003? Jack himself declared during the 2022 All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, “The door ain’t shut on that.” He praised team president Koby Altman, saying, “I think Koby and those guys did an amazing job drafting and making trades.” And now we have new information that the feeling could be mutual.

James, after all, won two of his four MVP awards while playing for Cleveland clubs that made long playoffs from 2003 to 2010. He returned from 2014 to 2018 and took the Cavaliers to four straight Finals appearances. of the NBA during this window, including a win. That victory: The Cavaliers memorably recovered from a 3-1 deficit against the Warriors to win in 2016. He also took an understaffed Cavs team to the 2007 Finals in his first stint with the franchise, although this team was swept away.

Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor told HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto on a recent episode of The HoopsHype Podcast that the Cavaliers would be open to James returning to free agency after the end of his current contract with the Lakers, which would expire in the summer of 2024 at the earliest. Fedor notes that the Cavaliers front office would not likely be open to James having the level of control he had over roster decisions during his last tenure with the team.

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Last season, the Cavaliers had their first season with a record over .500 since James left for the Lakers. Cleveland finished with a 44-38 record and saw young point guard Darius Garland and young center Jarrett Allen both make their first All-Star teams. Unfortunately, with Allen sidelined through injury, Cleveland would fail to advance beyond the play-in tournament.

This summer, the Cavaliers made a big play for their future, trade guard Collin Sexton, forward Lauri Markkanen, 2022 lottery pick Ochai Agbaji, three future first-round draft picks and two future draft pick trades in exchange for three All-Star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell. The team’s most promising player may well be the one who didn’t even make the all-star list last season: second-year big man Evan Mobley. The team has a bit of a small forward deficit at the moment, with Isaac Okoro and Caris LeVert the most likely to face off for starting honors.

Not counting the caps, Cleveland currently has $109.3 million in committed wages on its books for the summer of 2024, when James could opt out of the final season of his contract with the Lakers. If Altman finds a way to take away point guard Ricky Rubio’s $6.4 million salary that summer without incurring a guaranteed cash back, it could help carve out more space under the estimated salary cap. of the NBA. Current projections have that leaving the Cavaliers around $40.1 million to sign James, well below his maximum market value.

Would James, who turns 40 in the 2024-25 NBA season, consider getting a deep discount to compete for another title in Cleveland? Time will tell, but this young core could definitely become something special in the next few years.