It’s been weeks since LeBron James has been eligible to sign a contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers but he doesn’t appear to be in a rush. He has until June of 2023 to make a decision so there’s no reason for him to commit to the team yet. By all accounts, he wants to remain in Los Angeles. He loves the city and has won a championship with the Lakers.
However, if he believes the team is a sinking ship, he may need to reevaluate his options. The uncertainty around the team’s future could keep him from signing an extension until after the season. One team that could pose a serious threat to the Lakers when it comes to LeBron is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The future Hall of Famer has already hinted at some interest in returning to his hometown team and they have a young roster that is ascending. LeBron might not have interest now but returning to Cleveland could be appealing for his last year. Former teammate Channing Frye is predicting that the superstar will be a Cavalier again.
“Could you imagine LeBron’s last year in Cleveland? … I’m just a kid from Akron. His school, the city. I’ll say this to his face he should go back to Cleveland every single game,” Frye said on the “Road Trippin'” podcast.
“He’s gonna be in L.A. until, I cannot imagine my mind Bron being third wheel, right? It’s gonna be tough, OK, so when Bron is second wheel and a half. Bron’s like all right man, thank you I’m going somewhere for a season and we’re going to make it work.”
“I think he’s going to play the point guard and they’re going to go to the Eastern Conference Finals and they might lose to a team who’s young, but then he’s going to go out. It’s going to be the greatest last year. If he knows this is last year I think he takes less money to go back to Cleveland.”
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Why Would LeBron Want to Return to Cleveland?
LeBron has already returned to the Cavaliers once and brought them a title. After the second time he left the team, it appeared that door was closed for the rest of his career. However, the Lakers’ ineptitude last season could cause LeBron to get more open to the idea of returning home.
If this season comes around and the Cavaliers are clearly better than the Lakers, then perhaps LeBron jumps ship instead of signing an extension. A move back to Cleveland is also something that could happen down the road. Frye is predicting LeBron to spend his last year in Cleveland. He’s clearly got at least a few more years left in the tank. The Cavaliers could be an appealing team to play for in a few years.
Lakers Want LeBron to Retire a Laker
If LeBron doesn’t sign an extension, the Lakers need to walk a tightrope this season. They can’t allow him to just leave in free agency without anything in return. If that were to happen, the team would be in dire straights.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports recently reported that vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka told LeBron that he wants him to retire a Laker. That’s a nice idea but they have to prove that they can put a winning roster around the superstar before he’s going to make a commitment.