The Cleveland Cavaliers are quite the enigma, consistently placing among the worst teams in basketball, yet somehow also pulling off one of the most impressive streaks of good luck in sports. The eastern conference team had a mere 1.7 percent chance of receiving the first overall pick in what has been called one of the most talent-packed NBA Drafts in history. But it would seem that the odds are forever in Cleveland’s favor, and the Cavs have been granted the top pick for the third time in the last four NBA seasons. Over the last decade, the Cavs have been in lottery contention six times, coming up with the number-one pick four of those times. As unbelievable as it may seem, Cleveland now has the opportunity to pick the finest in the bunch, yet again. Some basketball analysts, however, are claiming that the Cavs have their sites set on a bigger prize: the king of the jungle, LeBron James.
At the head of the 2014 Draft Class pack is Canadian-born small forward Andrew Wiggins, Kansas big man Joel Embiid, and big time scorer Jabari Parker. Each of these players has the talent and ceiling of promise to turn an entire franchise around. If you throw one of the big three into the mix on a team that already has developing talent such as top point guard Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, and Dion Waters, the Cavs may even have enough young firepower to make a significant playoff run.
This is why many prognosticators believe that a return to Cleveland may be enticing to King James.
In a league where championship rings are just about the only criteria when it comes to a player’s legacy, LeBron now has two of his own. But the Miami Heat years are surely waning, and each run at the title is getting just a little bit more taxing than the year before it. Dwayne Wade’s knees are not getting any younger, and LeBron, as a 29 year old with ten years of basketball mileage, may indeed be wise to begin to give thought to his future. James has the option of leaving Miami for greener pastures at the conclusion of this season, and seeing as how his career began in Ohio, it would only make sense that he opt to team up with such a promising Cavalier team next year. At least this is what most media outlets would have you believe, but it may not be that easy.
There are a few problems with jumping the gun on LeBron James relocation speculation. Firstly, nearly everybody in the basketball world has discussed the possibility of LeBron returning to Cleveland except for one man: LeBron James. The future free agent has not given us much of a reason to believe he has his eyes on a return to his home state.
The second condition to be aware of is the fact that James and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert did not exactly part on good terms. Gilbert voiced some nasty opinions about his former superstar, and many apologies will have to be dished out before a re-signing can occur.
Finally, the situation in Cleveland does not guarantee immediate success for James. Though the Cavs have a stack of talented players all on the right side of their twenties, there is still much to be accomplished. Young players need time to develop, to mesh as a team, to learn professionalism, and to obtain playoff experience before they can be led into a battle as massive as the NBA Finals. Contrary to popular opinion, the Miami Heat still may be the best place for LeBron James to call home. They are quite possibly the best team in basketball today, and though the Cavs have much hope in tomorrow, contending for championship rings is all that matters, and right now, LeBron James has exactly what he needs to do it.