There has always been talk about LeBron James leaving.
Whether it was when he first left Cleveland or even in Miami, speculation always clouded LeBron James’ future with his current team. When he finally delivered the Cavaliers’ first ever championship, many thought he’d play his career out in Cleveland. One season later, that has changed.
After losing 4-1 in the Finals to the overpowered Warriors, the turmoil in Cleveland started to heat up.
It started with the unexpected parting of ways with GM, David Griffin, a GM that as well respected by the team and as well as the league. It was said that David Griffin was continuously working on a deal to land Jimmy Butler (maybe Paul George as well) before he left the Cavs. A cause to Cavs’ lack of power moves, could be the lack of a General Manager running the team. Strike one.
The next issue was the botched trade of Paul George to Cleveland. How close was Cleveland to acquiring Paul George from the Pacers? Paul George was pretty much allowed to contact the Cavs owner, Dan Gilbert. The deal fell apart, however, because of Indiana’s GM, Kevin Pritchard, who backed out last minute. Strike two.
That makes it two All-Stars that the Cavs missed out on to pair with LeBron James, and suddenly, things were looking tense within the Cavs organization. They still didn’t get in a better position to try to compete with the Warriors.
The Cavs had themselves a pretty quiet offseason (in terms of acquiring talent), considering the fact they’re trying to dethrone the Warriors.
They brought in veteran point guard Jose Calderon, re-signed Kyle Korver, and recently signed Derrick Rose to a minimum deal. One has to ask, however, whether or not these moves put them in a better position to beat the Warriors. They’ll look to be solid contributors, but not the ones that would give GSW a difficult time.
Then came the biggest news out of Cleveland in their already tumultuous offseason: Kyrie Irving’s trade request.
Kyrie Irving reportedly wants out of Cleveland after spending his entire career there and winning a ring with LeBron James. One of the main alleged reasons for Kyrie Irving’s surprising trade request? The chance to finally run his own team elsewhere.
LeBron’s All-Star teammate’s trade request reportedly shocked the superstar himself. Whether or not the Cavs do end up trading Kyrie Irving is another discussion, but one could say that it could affect the future of LeBron James as a Cavalier.
The relationship between Kyrie and the Cavs is pretty bad according to the reports. Strike three.
LeBron James has expressed concern with the direction the Cavaliers are going.
Rightfully so. The moves the Cavs organization made doesn’t improve their chances of dethroning the Warriors and the potential departure of their second best player doesn’t help their case either.
As Kyrie said, the Cavs are in a “very peculiar” place during the offseason. It could even be more peculiar before training camp begins.
The question remains: Will LeBron James leave?
The correct answer would be: He can leave, but no one knows if he actually will. A lot can change within one season, and who knows, maybe LeBron James finds a reason to stay in Cleveland and finish his storied career.
However, one shouldn’t be shocked if LeBron James does indeed decide to leave for another team after this season, factoring everything that has transpired for the Cavaliers and all prior reports.
Trusted NBA insider, Adrian Wojnarowski, also reported that there’s a feeling that LeBron James could leave the Cavaliers. Specifically for one of the two LA teams. Woj said the Lakers “could very well be a target.”
Lakers speculation made more noise as LeBron attended a Summer League game to watch Lonzo Ball, in a game where he recorded 36 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds. Lonzo Ball’s passing ability had LeBron James himself impressed.
It’s tough to call as of now, regarding LeBron’s future with the Cavaliers. The Lakers and the Clippers could be possible destinations, but so could the Miami Heat given the fact that he won two championships there.
At this point, the only sure thing is that LeBron James will be a Cavalier this coming season. Beyond that? No one can really say.
*Featured photo credits go to JASON MILLER/GETTY IMAGES*