NBA Trade Rumors: LeBron May Leave Cleveland Cavs This Summer
Cleveland Cavaliers' path to NBA playoffs and possibly league championship is extremely difficult with high expectations fueling an intense pressure on lead player LeBron James. After the Golden State Warriors nabbed the title in the last season, the Cavs should have a strong motivation to get their gameplay right to overcome Eastern Conference's strong playoff contenders and make it to the finals.
Despite the Cavs' number one position in the Eastern Conference standing, James may opt to leave the franchise in the event of his team's failure to capture the championship this season.
As reported by the Inquistr, James has been persistently rumored to leave Cleveland for a better team unless he sees a change. Since coming back to the Cavaliers, many originally thought he would play for the team until his retirement. But the possibility of switching allegiance has become very real.
"The organization is confident James won't leave again, but officials acknowledge it would be at least a slight possibility if Cleveland flames out. If he stays, James will have the clout to order another reconstruction...If LeBron thinks he's running out of time, this specific group of stars has two months left to prove it can win at the highest level. These Cavs should make the Finals, but can they do more?" wrote ESPN senior writer Zach Lowe.
Other sports analysts shared the same observation based on the numbers. With such pessimism, some even think that the Cavs will not make to Eastern Conference finals let alone national championship.
"They might not even reach the Finals, as they did last year and as they assumed to be their birthright this season. The Cavs are still in first place in the NBA's Eastern Conference. But the way they are playing, only geography makes the case for them to reach the championship stage," wrote basketball observer Bill Livingston as quoted by Crossmap.
Meanwhile, LeBron James has recently surpassed Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson into the 11th spot of NBA's list of top scorers after a layup score in the third quarter as he led the Cavs to a 110-108 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. To date, the ace player has a total of 26, 711 points credited to his name according to a latest roundup from Basketball Insider.