LeBron James Returns To Cleveland: Could It Happen?

LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010, taking his talents to South Beach as a member of the Miami Heat and leaving much acrimony in his wake. However, LeBron could potentially become a free agent after this season, and the Cavaliers seem to think they may have a shot at resigning James.

When you consider the devastating impact the LeBron exodus wrought on Cleveland, the possibility of a return to the very city he spurned seems ludicrous. But the pieces could conceivably fall into place, however farfetched it may seem.

James returned home on Saturday night when the Cavaliers retired the jersey of Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a former teammate of LeBron’s in Cleveland. This appearance at the halftime ceremony on an off day for the Heat immediately created speculation as to some hidden, or maybe completely transparent, agenda behind the invitation.

The night was filled with emotion and nostalgia for both James and Cleveland fans, and LeBron was more than happy to participate in the ceremony honoring Ilgauskas, who was a teammate and friend for seven seasons in Cleveland and one in Miami. The fact that James was even invited and treated in such a cordial manner seems to indicate the basic concept of him returning to the Cavaliers may not be so ridiculous. Not long ago, the very idea of LeBron making an appearance at Quicken Loans Arena would have been openly mocked.

Of course, there are a lot of moving parts to be navigated before King James can ascend once more in Cleveland. Most importantly, LeBron would have to leave the Heat after what could be a third consecutive NBA title. While it is fun to speculate on possible destinations for LeBron, it is unlikely he will choose to flee Miami.

On the Cleveland side, the possibilities are even more convoluted. While the Cavaliers have a young star in point guard Kyrie Erving, they desperately require a second big-ticket name player to pair with Erving in hopes of enticing LeBron to return. LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love are potential options, but may not be available. If one or both players cannot work out long-term deals with their respective teams, the Cavaliers do have the pieces to put together a fairly desirable trade package.

Even if everything somehow works out, the reality of James actually playing in Cleveland again still feels like madness. While LeBron finishing his career with the Cavaliers after everything that went down would provide an amazing bookend to his personal narrative, it will likely not happen.

Do you think LeBron James will ever play for Cleveland again, or is the notion to absurd to consider?