OT: LeBron to Cleveland?

Submitted by ypsituckyboy on July 9th, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Lots of rumblings from NBA insiders that LeBron could be headed back to Cleveland. This seems to be confirmed by Cleveland's salary-cap clearing "trade" today. They ditched Jarrett Jack and his $6.3MM salary, along with Tyler Zeller and Tyler Zeller and Sergey Karasev, for nothing but cap space.

In my opinion, I think this is a great move from both a team and money perspective.

From a team perspective, Cleveland stands in stark contrast to Miami. Rather than being full of bloated salaries and past-their-prime stars, they're loaded with young talent and have the potential to be very good in the coming years. Add LeBron to the mix with Kyrie Irving (somewhat overrated but still solid), a Wiggins (who would benefit by easing into a high-level role), and Tristan Thompson, and you've got a squad that can easily contend for a title in the East.

From a money perspective, LeBron is going to make the max no matter where he goes, so salary isn't the deciding factor. Endorsements are. Now that he's the biggest star in the NBA, it doesn't matter if he's based out of Cleveland or New York/LA/Chi. The name LeBron Jame name recognition is global and his endorsement deals won't decrease just because he plays in a secondary market. If anything, being on a team with young talent may help increase his longevity as a title contender and thus his relevance in the league, keeping his endorsement money flowing at a high level through and beyond his prime years.


Marley Nowell

July 9th, 2014 at 10:53 AM ^

Not while Dan Gilbert is still the owner there.  Rumors (which is all we have regarding the LeBron situation) point to him wanting his new agent to get publicity and establish himself in the Cleveland area.  I think Cav's fans are setting themselves up again for more heartbreak.

1 percent

July 9th, 2014 at 2:42 PM ^

They had pulled it off in 2010. This was on a 'purged' site that Cleveland didn't even have access to anymore. They noticed a huge uptick in clicks on a certain link and noticed it still being able to be accessed.  They had to contact the NBA to have it removed.

You can talk about Gilbert not deserving it but how in the world do Miami fans deserve having the best player in the world playing for them?

Im a Cavs fan, I really hope it happens but if it doesn't the Cavs are sitting in a great spot for a great future. We're playing with house money, imo.


July 9th, 2014 at 4:32 PM ^

LeBron is chasing championships, not fan love. He has a better chance of winning in Miami than Cleveland next year.

Too many free agents have already left Cleveland and Pat Riley has signed some good support players for LeBron's return.

After a few years, when all the #1 picks in Cleveland mature, I can see LeBron going back as the player that takes them over the edge.

Everyone Murders

July 9th, 2014 at 10:54 AM ^

I don't care too much where he goes, but the "coming home" spin that his sponsors (and the Cavs) would put on this would be among the more nauseating spectacles in recent sporting memory.  That stated, it would alleviate the need to keep syrup of ipecac in my medicine cabinet.

So count me in!

Everyone Murders

July 9th, 2014 at 11:27 AM ^

And the loss of ipecac sales will be fully offset by sales of LeBron James throwback jerseys.  Here's a likely glimpse into the future should LeBron return to the Cavs:

LeBron James returning has changed the tide for the Cavs. Hell people in Ohio are starting to believe him again. Never in a million years we would have thought that. Selling flame-retardant white and flame-retardant burgundy throwback LeBron jerseys is a good start.

Evil Empire

July 9th, 2014 at 11:37 AM ^

The list of athletes who have left Cleveland teams to go on to greater success elsewhere is longer than the list of Browns starting QBs.  And he was a local product who took the Cavs to their greatest heights, then dumped Cleveland on national TV.  The response was predictably and embarrassingly over the top, and if he returns there will be some awkwardness.  But keep it neat, get one of these:

Clark Griswold

July 9th, 2014 at 10:55 AM ^

As a Lebron fan I'll be disappointed if he goes there. The people in Cleveland treated him like shit. Why go play somewhere for a clueless owner and for fans that burn your jersey?

Bill the Butcher

July 9th, 2014 at 2:14 PM ^

That money only went to the Boys and Girls Club AFTER all the backlash that Lebron received for The Decision.  That money was never originally intended for the BGC until Lebron and his people had a PR disaster and had to try to find a way to put out the flames.  


July 9th, 2014 at 1:55 PM ^

then f*ing act like it.  Lebron tried to come off as the savior of Cleveland basketball and then ran away the first chance he had.  He could have pushed to have All Stars join him, but it was ALL ABOUT LEBRON at that point.  He deserved to have his jersey burned.  He deserved to be called names.  He deserved to have Dan Gilbert write a childish letter and post it for four years on the team website.  I have no sympathy for Lebron (if you couldn't tell by now).

the bee train

July 9th, 2014 at 11:21 PM ^

Cleveland brought in every washed up former all star then could just to keep him happy (Shaq, Ben Wallace) because he insinuated that if they didn't he would leave. Then he pulls that decision bs to further humiliate the organization and, worse yet, his hometown fans. Say what you want about the Celtics but Garnett and Allen were traded to Boston, LeBron and Bosh proved they couldn't hack it on their own so they joined forces in the weaker conference and hailed themselves as the greatest team ever. I'm not from Cleveland, but the only way I think he could make it up to me if I were would be to come back and win a championship.

1 percent

July 9th, 2014 at 2:44 PM ^

Why go play somewhere that walks out on your team that worked their butts off to get to the finals ONLY TO SEE THEM COME BACK AND WIN ... and then a year later leave in the middle of the game AGAIN?

How are those fans more 'worthy'? If he leaves Miami they won't burn jerseys but that is because they aren't real fans.


July 10th, 2014 at 9:09 AM ^

LeBron was a god walking the earth in Cleveland, he was worshipped here.  My opinion was that he didn't owe us anything, but he also didn't have to take a big steaming shit right on top of us when he left.

Also, are you actually implying that Miami has great fans?  The same fans where 90% of them left in the 4th quarter of game 5 instead of staying, cheering on their team, thanking them for 4 great seasons and 2 championships.

Last, Lebron is not coming here, and I'm as shocked as anyone that people around here let themselves get sucked in again.  The only reason all 3 of them opted out is because all 3 of them are going back.  I would also take Lebron back in a second, because in the end, who gives a shit.


July 9th, 2014 at 10:55 AM ^

but I can't stand the NBA or LeBron - I do hope he makes another announcement letting us know where he's taking his talents!


July 9th, 2014 at 11:00 AM ^

I haven't been putting much weight into the rumors so far, but in light of the trade for cap space I think something has to be brewing.


July 9th, 2014 at 11:14 AM ^

Nike just bought up tons and tons of billboards in Cleveland, if that's any indication.  More billboards than Kyrie Irving would warrant, let's put it that way.

Space Coyote

July 9th, 2014 at 11:21 AM ^

And I don't buy it. Once Lebron signs, it would cost Nike a minor fortune to purchase those signs. It's more cost effective from a risk/reward standpoint to purchase those signs now, shell the ones they won't use for Johnny Football, Irving, etc. I don't think Nike has a pulse one way or another here, they are just doing what makes sense from a business standpoint.

Space Coyote

July 9th, 2014 at 11:13 AM ^

For God's sake. We'd all like to flee to the Cleve and club-hop down at the Flats and hae lunch with Little Richard, but we fight those urges because we have responsibilities. If the whole world moved to their favorite vacation spots, then the whole world would live in Hawaii, Italy, and Cleveland.

Well, now Lebron doesn't need to fight those urges, and he can live in his favorite vacation spot. Welcome back to Cleveland Lebron.