Talks about LeBron James' plan to move in Los Angles is picking up. After Golden State Warriors defeated Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017 NBA Finals, James' future is up in the air once again. The Cavaliers forward hits free agency next summer, and there are rumors that he'll sign with Lakers or Clippers after the 2017-18 seasons.
James signed a three-year, $100 million contract with the Cavaliers last summer. The deal includes a player option for the third year in 2018. Now, sports analysts believe James will use it to move to Los Angeles next summer.
The rumors started when The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor said that many NBA insiders claim James may leave Cleveland to pursue off-court interests in Los Angeles. James has business establishments in the city. He also owns a house in the Southern California city which is just 30 minutes away from the Staples Center, where Lakers and Clippers play.
LeBron ended Cleveland's' 52-year championship drought by winning the 2016 NBA Finals. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, that feat had liberated James to leave the city. He also added many fans believe James will "likely" move to one of the Los Angeles teams after suffering from losing in Game 5 against the Warriors.
"Not only is there no guarantee he's coming back, I'm not sure there's an expectation he's re-signing there. I think they feel, I think within Cleveland and around the league, they feel that he's very much in play to leave again and likely head out West to one of the two L.A. teams," Wojnarowski said in his podcast last Wednesday.
Interestingly, the Cavaliers management may have been expecting James' exit. When he returned to the city from Miami Heat, James has only signed one-year deals for both financial and motivational reasons. Analysts say this move is beneficial for him. If the Cavs management didn't build the team to James' preference, the three-time MVP could easily leave the organization.
For the part of Cavs general manager David Griffin, he admitted the possibility of James' leaving the team. He acknowledged that fact while discussing how the Cavs had traded future draft picks for win-now players.
"Well, if LeBron and Kyrie and Kevin are gone, and we become a lottery pick, we'll have those picks because they're protected."
Meanwhile, James recently made two NBA records during the 2017 NBA Finals. He is now the King of Triple Doubles for the NBA Finals with nine Finals triple-double, beating Los Angeles Lakers Legend Magic Johnson. Furthermore, he also surpassed Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan as the No. 1 all-time playoff scorer with 6,091 playoff points.