LeBron James will be a free agent again this offseason and Adrian Wojnarowski suggests he could consider leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason should they win a title.
James has been on a series of one-plus-one contracts since returning to the Cavaliers in 2014.
"One more victory, one more magnificent night at Oracle Arena, and James will get to run off with his buddies again somewhere warm. Miami. Los Angeles. Wherever," writes Wojnarowski.
Both the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers either have the cap space or can create the space to sign him to a significant contract in free agency. The Los Angeles Clippers could conceivably offer a package built around Blake Griffin.
"There’s a restlessness about James that craves the next big move, the next power play," continues Wojnarowski. "Franchises are on watch again, believing nothing’s forever in Northeast Ohio. Sooner or later, there’s a belief that James comes into play again, a line of thinking that his inner circle has done nothing to dissuade. As for James himself, well, he has gone so far as to publicly describe an end-of-career scenario that doesn’t include Cleveland.
"Part of it, yes, along with those one-year contracts, is a way to mess with owner Dan Gilbert. James has great fondness for coach Ty Lue and respect for general manager David Griffin, but he’ll never embrace Gilbert – only perform despite him.
"Yes, James could come back to Cleveland and defend a potential Cavaliers title in 2017 and proceed to join the run of superstar pals in free agency: Chris Paul and Kevin Durant. They can wait one more year for Carmelo Anthony in 2018. Or, Golden State wins Game 7, and maybe James gives Cleveland the championship in 2017 – and makes his move then.
"Cleveland can’t hold him to his Sports Illustrated letter, his promises of becoming something noble and lasting. It wanted a title, and he’s close to delivering one. James becomes untouchable with a Cavaliers title. Fifty-two years without a pro sports championship here, and Cleveland can only tell him: Thank you, and goodbye again."