The future of LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers was thrown into further doubt on Tuesday after new reports surfaces that the team’s sluggish offseason in deals has been frustrating for the most talented and high-profile NBA player.
Last season came to an abrupt and poor ending for James and his teammates, as they were soundly defeated in the NBA finals by the champion Golden State Warriors in five games.
Frustrations became compounded only one week after the Finals when Dan Gilbert the chairman for the Cavaliers announced that David Griffin the team’s general manager would be leaving, while James was in favor of giving Griffin an extension on his deal with the team.
To add to the problems, the Cavaliers have been strangely quiet during the offseason with trades and new signings. The team has added Jose Calderon a veteran guard as well as Jeff Green a forward, but watched Gordon Hayward sign with Boston.
A recent report in one of the national newspapers said the passive summer by the Cavs has been frustrating for James as he was expecting a more aggressive approach to help the team close the growing gap between it and the current champions Golden State.
However, his optimism was cut short with the announcement by Gilbert that he was overhauling the front office, and declined only days prior to the draft as well as free agency to bring the GM back as well as Trent Redden the VP of basketball operations.
The current contract James has still has another three years with Cleveland, but he will be able to opt out of it and become an unrestricted free agent following the 2017-18 season.
James, who is 32, has been linked to several moves. One is returning to play for the Miami Heat, while another is moving to play for the Los Angeles Lakers and join players such as Boogie Cousins, John Wall and Paul George.
That prospect of playing for a team that could challenge the Warriors would give him cause to opt out of his contract.
Another possibility is the Philadelphia 76ers. Earlier this week, Philly second-year player Ben Simmons tweeted what appeared to be an invitation for James to join the 76ers with their talented young corps of players including Simmons, No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and Joel Embiid.
However, much can happen between now, the start of the season and during the 82-game regular season.