Thou great king has returned to his throne in Cleveland. After what seemed to be an absence that lasted an eternity, LeBron James announced he is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers four years after Cleveland’s most heartbreaking sports chapter, “The Decision.”
This is about redemption. This is about Northeast Ohio. These themes were made clear in an essay to Sports Illustrated. Cavs fans lined up outside of James home and Quicken Loans arena, celebrating the return of their beloved, prodigal son.
James said, “I always believed I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and wife, Savannah is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I started to look at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland.
In what was an emotionally charged rollercoaster the entire week, Cavs fans were left wondering if James would crush them again after all the hype and reports that he was strongly considering returning to the Cavs. There were reports from his inner circle that he is returning to the Cavs. There was the false report of the “firebug” program that was allegedly used to hack LeBron James site in order to reveal startling color coded images indicating a return to the Cavs. There was even a rumor that LeBron James was at Cuyahoga County Airport yesterday when in fact it was Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden.
There was also the report this morning that James went with Dwayne Wade to Miami. It is not known if it was a recruiting trip or if James was simply spending time with him. This made fans nervous as it seemed to give the Heat an edge at a critical time. It turns out the trip did not hinder the Cavs chances of signing James.
Cavs fans expressed relief and excitement over “The Decision2.0”. Some still have bitter, cold feelings toward James but those fans are few and far between. This makes the Cavs a relevant team again. James return signals a power shift in the Eastern Conference, especially with a likely trade looming with Minnesota to acquire Kevin Love.
Cleveland made a critical move to entice James to return. The Cavs, Celtics, and Nets were involved in a three team trade in which the Cavs traded Jarrett Jack, Tyler Zeller, and Sergay Karasev. The trade freed up enough cap space for Cleveland to have a chance to land James.
The Cavs were dysfunctional and disorganized without James. He won two NBA Titles with the Miami Heat. Last season, the Heat lost the NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs.
James brings his scoring and passing abilities along with his defensive tenacity and veteran leadership. He is known for his fast paced style offense. He joins a strong supporting cast of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and Andrew Wiggins.
Cavs and Minnesota Timberwolves working on trade
Immediately after James’ decision, the Cavs and Timberwolves rekindled their trade talks involving Love, who averaged 26.1 points per game last season. It was believed that the Cavs would trade the rookie Wiggins but new reports indicate that Waiters, Tristan Thompson, and a few draft picks were offered to the Timberwolves
Free Agent Targets
The Cavs are targeting veteran Ray Allen and small forward Mike Miller.
Chris Bosh to Houston not happening
Free agent forward Chris Bosh will remain with the Miami Heat. Bosh agreed to a five-year, $118 million deal.