LeBron James could be leaning towards a return to Cleveland

Rumors that the Suns would consider trading the No. 1 overall pick for Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard surfaced last week, but were quickly refuted by Scott Bordow of Arizona Republic.

According to a report by Cleveland Sports Talk, sources are revealing that LeBron James will only consider playing for two teams next season, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the L.A. Lakers. He said if the Rockets can't get LeBron James, we can kiss any championship dreams goodbye but I told him the unfortunate news claiming that LeBron James had reportedly not found Houston to be one of his more favorable cities.

If No. 23 bolts, the Cavs could decide to gut their roster and begin to rebuild; if James stays, they could either get younger or add a fresh batch of veteran stars to play alongside the King and maybe, just maybe, (somehow) give the Cavaliers a legitimate chance to take down the Warriors.

Hinton wrote that "LeBron is actively searching and recruiting players to Cleveland, even more so than he did after he came back with Kevin Love".

Cleveland can outbid any other suitor by offering him a five-year, max contract worth approximately $205 million. Love, 29, has two years and almost $50 million left on his contract.

Granted, if James re-signs, the Cavs - barring a near-miracle on draft night - won't be on the Golden State Warriors' level.

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It is unlikely that any draft prospects alone would entice James to stay at this point of his career, as he is looking to win now and is unlikely to be wowed by a player that still needs developing.

Although he had his most efficient season as a Cavalier during his 59 regular season games, the 29-year-old struggled throughout much of the postseason, at least for his standards.

"Anything is possible", Love said.

We doubt the Cavs - who have paid nearly $500 million in combined salaries and luxury taxes the last three seasons - would take on Parsons' contract. But it did ultimately put in place the assets that James found appealing enough to make a return.

Ideally, the Cavs would know LeBron's plans before entering a critically important draft.

It seems James would like to stick around, but more preferable basketball situations could lead to a second exit.

  • Lawrence Cooper