LeBron James has the option to forego the last season of his contract to become a free agent next month, and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ GM recently said he expects the four-time MVP to exercise it. Could Northeast Ohio’s native son spurn his home again just a year after returning to it?
While anything is possible in free agency, the prospect of James signing with any team other than the Cavaliers this summer is extremely unlikely. The local and national goodwill he restored by going back to Cleveland is simply too much to sacrifice for any other outcome. Just think of the fallout if James left the team for a second time; his legacy would never recover.
If common sense isn’t enough for you to believe The King will re-sign with the Cavaliers, though, his indirect assurance should ease those concerns. Here’s James on the season’s end via Bleacher Report’s “Uninterrupted.”
“Being back home is everything that I dreamed of, everything that I thought about. Being back with these fans, being back with this community, just being back here and trying to bring joy to this city, which deserves it. Bring a sense of pride to this city, which deserves it. Having this city something to talk about, which they deserve.
Hopefully I was an inspiration being back to you this first year, and hopefully I can continue that in the near future…
Hopefully I can put our team in position once again to try to compete for a championship – next year, and year in and year out. That’s my goal, and my inspiration hasn’t changed.”
Doesn’t sound like a guy thinking about leaving Cleveland, right?
However, that hardly means reports won’t come out over the next couple of weeks suggesting otherwise. Until James re-ups with the wine-and-gold, there will be rumors that he might do the unexpected and actually consider signing elsewhere. All of the noise surrounding his perceived displeasure with David Blatt will lend mostly inconsequential credence to them, too.
But don’t worry, Cavs fans. James isn’t going anywhere this time. His seemingly imminent decision to opt out is solely about maximizing financial gain, and he might wait longer than necessary to ink a new deal in hopes of pressuring Cleveland to pay the luxury tax by re-signing its key contributors.
There’s nothing more than that to LeBron’s free agency, though. He’s home, and barring a shocking turn of events, will be for the remainder of his career.
[Via Bleacher Report]