As he returned home to Ohio for All-Star Weekend, LeBron James pondered the possibility of returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the near future.
It would be poetic for Akron’s own LeBron James to retire where it all started: in Cleveland, Ohio as a Cleveland Cavalier.
James left Ohio and the team that drafted him to win a championship in Miami, returned home to bring a ring to Cleveland, then left once more to win in Los Angeles. As the 37-year-old James creeps up on free agency availability in 2023, he admits that the idea of returning to Cleveland for the third time is not outside of the realm of possibility.
“The door’s not closed on that,” James told The Athletic during All-Star Weekend. “I’m not saying I’m coming back and playing, I don’t know. I don’t know what my future holds. I don’t even know when I’m free.”
LeBron James says “the door’s not closed” on another return to the Cleveland Cavaliers
James did stress that he has not considered a return to Cleveland, so his ambiguous answer could be chalked up to ambivalence after his future. Perhaps more than anything, it’s intended to apply Los Angeles to build a more suitable team around him in the coming years. The Westbrook trade hasn’t panned out, Los Angeles was deadlocked at the trade deadline, and James’ contract prevent him from being able to apply pressure to the team as he has in the past.
If James did return to Cleveland, the Cavaliers have a strong roster for James to join. The Cavs just landed Caris Levert in an A+ trade with the Pacers, rookie Evan Mobley shone in the Rising Stars competition the way he has all season, Jarrett Allen made the All-Star team, and Kevin Love is still excelling in Cleveland.
Perhaps the Cavs could be the next up-and-coming franchise that James is looking for as he nears his 40s — because if the Lakers can’t figure it out, James has made it well-known that he will go where victories can be won.