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September 29, 2023

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LeBron James’s future opens door for speculation

The NBA is nearing the start of the signing period in free agency.

On July 10, players like Kyle Lowry, Kyrie Irving and Josh McRoberts will officially be able to sign on the dotted line. However, a major question still remains—where is LeBron James going to land?

It was thought by many that even after he expectantly opted out of his six-year, $109.84 million contract with the Miami Heat, he would still end up back in South Beach. James would presumably continue dominating the decrepit Eastern Conference with his partners in crime, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. After James opted out on June 26, Wade and Bosh soon followed. The “Big Three” were believed to be in cahoots again to re-sign with the Heat, albeit at a lower rate of pay for Bosh and Wade.

And yet, as the days have gone by, speculation and rumors have filled the Internet left and right, essentially leaving no stone, or possibility, unturned.

So, what is next for King James? He could return to South Beach, with no certainty that he will have the right kind of help, or he could make a glorious coming back to the Sixth City, bringing a revival to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers franchise that so desperately needs him.

The most ironic part, seemingly, is that the Cavs actually look to be in better shape moving forward than the Heat. With young superstar Kyrie Irving back in the fold and Andrew Wiggins looking to make an immediate impact, there is strong belief that the Cavs are doing anything they can to open up even more space to lure back James, who is looking to sign a max contract.

Ken Berger of reported Monday that the Cavs have involved several teams in the possibilities to take Jarrett Jack and his $6.3 million salary, most notably the Brooklyn Nets.

The contract of Jarrett Jack becomes important to the Cavaliers’ front office, as they are currently just about $17 million under the NBA’s salary cap. In order to give James his max contract, the $6.3 million is an unbelievably important piece in this puzzle. But it is highly possible, and if LeBron James is serious about exploring his options, returning to the Cavs is certainly his best bet at continued success and wealth.

Although the Miami Heat have more than enough space to re-sign James to his max contract request, putting a competent team around him would be tough. In addition, James’s agent, Rich Paul, is pulling the strings here.

Cheer up, Cavs fans. If James is truly serious about Cleveland, and I believe he is, then you shouldn’t have much to worry about. There is a better chance that he will come home to Cleveland than stay in Miami. It’s simple: the way things are shaping up, Cleveland just has more to offer.

But who knows where he’ll end up after The Decision: Part Two.

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