NBC Sports -- Thomas Wolfe was wrong, at least about LeBron James. You can go home again.
LeBron James is heading back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he announced the decision on his own terms.
"I always believed that I’d return to
Wow. Wow. Wow.
For a long time, I didn’t believe the Cavs had a serious chance to lure LeBron back, but they did it.
And with Kyrie Irving in the fold and a number of decent to good young players (Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, Andrew Wiggins) this is now a team that is a contender to win the East. Their youth and playoff inexperience is going to leave them short of the top teams in the West, but the Cavaliers certainly could make the Finals, LeBron James’ fifth in a row.
The Cavs also have the draft picks and assets to make some moves and go after some veterans and bigger names, including Kevin Love.
LeBron is also the first domino to fall in what should be a rush of free agent signings such as Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol, Luol Deng, Lance Stephenson and others.
LeBron played his first seven years in
So he teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and formed a super team in
However the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement — in which the owners slashed the players share of revenue by seven percent and put in rules to make it very hard to form or maintain a super team — have eroded the Heat. Pat Riley, for years, has mostly been limited to adding minimum-salary players or a couple who made slightly more. Some worked, such as Ray Allen, and others didn’t, such as Michael Beasley.
But Riley couldn’t easily add the kind of young, athletic players the Spurs had and beat the Heat with in the 2014 Finals, guys such as Kawhi Leonard.
One of the hard-line owners who pushed for those super team restrictions? Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.
Now he wants one of his own — the Cavaliers just signed Kyrie Irving to a max extension and have LeBron, now they are trying to swing a trade for Kevin Love. That would likely take the inclusion of No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins in a deal, and even that may not be enough.
-- Dan Feldman & Kurt Helin, NBC Sports
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