The Los Angeles Lakers’ disastrous 2021-22 NBA campaign has led to talk of a possible divorce with superstar LeBron James.
In addition to James’ beef with Lakers brass being the worst kept secret in the NBA, this past week he also spoke quite publicly about being open to a reunion with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the days since, all talk has come from the position that the Cavaliers would welcome James back with open arms given the opportunity.
But is that an accurate assessment of the situation?
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the perceived enthusiasm presumed to exist on Cleveland’s side regarding a possible reunion has been grossly overstated in recent days.
“In conversations with people that I had in Cleveland, I think it’s just assumed that the Cavs would jump at the chance to get LeBron back… and I really don’t think that’s the case,” he wrote.
While the idea of rejecting James may initially seem crazy, what with many regarding him as the greatest NBA player of all time, it’s actually a pretty sensible position. He is currently 37 years old. By the time next season commences, he will be just a few months shy of his 38th birthday.
And while James comes with a lot of positives on the court, he also brings with him a ton of baggage off it. The fact that he has already stated that he would not give Cleveland any sort of hometown discount, and that he plans to demand nothing less than the max deal (despite his current financial standing), is telling.
Someone agreed to marry Grayson Allen. https://t.co/ypd2RwwtDt
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 24, 2022
The Cavs have a great young core and tons of potential. And they are currently tied for third-place in the East without James. Do they really need all the headaches that accompany him at this juncture? Probably not.
James and the Cavaliers may still reunite, but it won’t be on his terms. The front office has a lot of leverage, and they’ll likely use it correctly when the time comes.