He won his fourth NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers two years later, and it seemed he would stay put there.
But the Lakers clearly aren’t championship contenders anymore, and with James voicing his frustration about playing on a non-contending team, there have been rumblings he may force a trade this summer.
One Eastern Conference executive thinks that if James does want out, a trade back to the Cavs would make lots of sense.
“That is the most likely thing, if he wants it all to end on a good note. Go back to Cleveland one last time,” the executive told Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports (h/t Cavaliers Nation). “It is a good team, you can win, and it is where it all started. No one’s going to hate him for going to Cleveland again.”
Even if James did request a trade, which is still a big if at this point, especially given how sensitive he is about his image and legacy, it would be tricky to actually execute a trade.
The Lakers would likely demand a few first-round draft picks, and the Cavs don’t have a whole lot of them left after giving up five to get Donovan Mitchell last summer.
If the Lakers also asked for Darius Garland, would Cleveland listen, or would general manager Koby Altman simply laugh at L.A. executive Rob Pelinka and hang up the phone?
Some would say the Cavs don’t even need James, that they’re more than fine without him and that they don’t need what some consider an aging, meddlesome, self-centered diva.
Still, if it ever happened, it would be a feel-good story, and possibly one with a happy ending, which would be James’ fifth championship ring.
I wonder if Lebron James would consider demanding a trade back to Cleveland?! I mean the Cavs do have nice squad! Don’t mind me tho and Carry on…
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) December 22, 2021
But don’t count on it seeing the light of reality.