The best player in the NBA doesn’t become a free agent very often, and that is what LeBron James has been dealing with the past few days, however after careful consideration, he has decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The news broke on Friday morning in an exclusive by Sports Illustrated.
In the case of LeBron James, he has now been an unrestricted free agent twice in his career. Back in 2010, James famously left the Cleveland Cavaliers to sign with the Miami Heat in a nationally televised show called The Decision. Since then James has enjoyed great success, leading the Heat to four Eastern Conference Championships, four appearances in the NBA Finals and two NBA Titles. James has been named MVP of the league twice with the Heat and was named MVP of the Finals in both of the Heat’s victories. All in all, James seems to have made the right decision. However, with the Heat falling to the San Antonio Spurs in what was a relatively easy victory for the Spurs, winning in five games, James has taken the offseason to think about his future.
When James opted out of his contract with the Heat, it seemed like a foregone conclusion, he and the rest of the big three would return to the Heat. Most believed they were simply looking for more security and were hoping that Heat president Pat Riley could add to an aging roster that obviously needed some tweaks.
As the days went on and James remained silent, more and more reports began to surface that James was legitimately interested in a return to Cleveland. One reporter even labeled it a “90% chance” James was returning to Cleveland. On Wednesday, the Cavaliers completed a three team deal that sent swingman Sergey Karasev and point guard Jarrett Jack to the Brooklyn Nets and big man Tyler Zeller and a future first-round draft pick to the Boston Celtics. That deal gave the Cavaliers the cap space required to sign James to a max contract.
Since losing James in 2010, the Cavaliers have added three number one overall picks (They selected point guard Kyrie Irving, who recently agreed to a max extension with the Cavaliers in 2011, forward Anthony Bennett in 2013 and used the top-overall selection on swingman Andrew Wiggins just last month), two fourth-overall picks (They took big man Tristan Thompson in 2011 and guard Dion Waiters in 2012) and still have a favorite of James, big man Anderson Varejão.
The Cavaliers are also reportedly in the mix to acquire Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Love.
James averaged 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 56.7% from the field, 37.9% from three and 75.0% from the charity stripe last season. In his storied career, James has averaged 27.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 49.7% from the field, 34.1% from beyond the arc and 74.7% from the free throw line.
FanSided has created a video to welcome James back to Cleveland.