The Cleveland Cavaliers are the antithesis of the Los Angeles Lakers. They have a ton of young talent that could make them contenders for years to come.
But could they strengthen their team even more by welcoming an old friend back to The Land?
It’s possible. The Cavs could realistically make a run at LeBron James next offseason. They would not only give him an excellent opportunity to win his fifth championship, but they have the financial flexibility to bring him aboard.
That’s not all they can do, though. The Cavaliers will have plenty of options throughout the next couple of seasons, and Kevin Love’s recent comments prove that anything is possible.
Kevin Love addressed the possibility of a LeBron James reunion on the Cavs
The Cavs clinched their first winning season without LeBron James in over two decades last week. After his departure to the Lakers in 2018, Cleveland has since spent the last few seasons building a talented roster around multiple young stars.
Darius Garland has had a breakout year at point guard, earning his first All-Star selection. But Jarrett Allen has also become an All-Star big man, and rookie forward Evan Mobley has shown he can develop into one of the NBA’s best players.
If not for injuries, the Cavaliers would be a top-four seed in the East. They are 26-14 when Garland, Allen, and Mobley start together, but each of them has missed time at various points of this season.
However, could they add another superstar to that young core?
Maybe. LeBron James will become a free agent in 2023, so a reunion with The King certainly appears to be possible.
But what does Kevin Love think? Love has had a resurgent season in Cleveland. He spiraled into irrelevance after seeing James go to LA, but he is one of the Cavs’ top role players this year, averaging 13.4 points and 7.2 rebounds on 38.5% shooting from three-point range.
Love, though, has no idea what James plans to do in 2023.
“After 2018, did [I] know he was going to the Lakers? I was like, eh, had some sort of an idea that it was a possibility, like a strong possibility I should say, but no, I don’t see any,” Love said to Sports Illustrated of a potential James return. “He obviously loves our makeup. He loves our team, he has a special bond with Akron, the city of Cleveland, Ohio. But no, I don’t really get a feel for that as of right now. But you know, with him, it could change.”
No, Love’s comments didn’t say much about James’ future, but they help prove that anything is possible for the Cavs.
The Cavs should be a top destination for numerous NBA stars
While Kevin Love seems open to a LeBron James reunion, the move would certainly work.
The Cavs will have something close to a max contract spot open in 2023-24, and they will need to fill the small forward position.
Lauri Markkanen has played the three this season, but he’s more of a stretch four. He won’t take anyone off the dribble, but the seven-foot sharpshooter’s height makes his shot difficult to defend along the perimeter.
Someone who can create for themselves and others would be ideal for Cleveland. Caris LeVert could potentially fill that role, but the Cavs seem to view him more as a two, and he could be gone after next season due to his potential 2023 free agency.
So, other than LeBron, who could the Cavs add?
Andrew Wiggins could make his return to Cleveland after going to the Cavaliers No. 1 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. They could also look at Harrison Barnes or Bojan Bogdanovic, who will both be unrestricted free agents during the 2023 offseason. Or, the Cavaliers could continue building through the draft and sign LeVert to an extension.
Due to the talented trio of Garland, Allen, and Mobley, each of the players above should also want to play for Cleveland, rather than the Cavaliers just being interested in them.
The Cavs simply have a plethora of options to help solidify their championship credentials. And LeBron James could be a name they discuss when he becomes a free agent in 2023.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference