While LeBron James takes a well-deserved family holiday after a challenging NBA season, the Cleveland Cavaliers, his former team, are among those seeking to entice him into a potential move away from Miami as a free agent.
Cavaliers officials met with James’ agent, Rich Paul, this week about the free-agent superstar’s possible return to the team who drafted him with the No 1 overall pick in the 2003 draft. The sides met as James continued his family holiday, a person with knowledge of the details told Associated Press on Thursday.
ESPN have also reported that Paul met with representatives for the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.
James recently opted out of the final two years of his contract in Miami. The two-time NBA champion has gone to four straight finals with the Heat. However, after the team was smashed by San Antonio Spurs 4-1 in this year’s NBA Finals, James said he would weigh his options this summer.
One of them could be re-signing with the Cavs, the team he spent seven seasons with before leaving in 2010 to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South Florida. Wade and Bosh also opted out of their deals with Heat, raising speculation the ‘Big Three’ could be headed in different directions.
James’ decision to leave Cleveland prompted owner Dan Gilbert to condemn him in a scathing letter to Cavaliers fans.
The Cavs have waited patiently for their chance to try and convince the man from Akron, Ohio to come home. In the past few weeks, Cleveland have hired new coach David Blatt, selected Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins with the No 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft and signed All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to a five-year, $90 million contract extension.
Now, they’re working on bringing back James, who has never ruled out the possibility of a return.
Two years ago, James was asked if he could ever see himself playing for the Cavs again.
‘It would be great,’ he said. ‘It would be fun to play in front of these fans again. I had a lot fun times in my seven years here. You can’t predict the future and hopefully I continue to stay healthy. I’m here as a Miami Heat player, and I’m happy where I am now, but I don’t rule that out in no sense.
‘And if I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me.’
James was booed mercilessly by Cleveland fans in his first games back with the Heat, but in recent years he has been received more favourably.
James is scheduled to be in Las Vegas next week to host a basketball camp, and then is expected to attend the World Cup in Brazil.