James is an unrestricted free agent and the Cavs are hoping to re-sign the three-time champion, who is weighing whether to change teams for the third time in eight years.
Back in 2016 it was announced that director Justin Lin was teaming up with James to put together a sequel to Space Jam, a film that starred National Basketball Association legend Michael Jordan. The franchise has a pair of young studs in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the relatively easy ability to create max cap space and the aggressive mentality to continue chasing a Kawhi Leonard trade.
This time around, LeBron leaving feels a lot difference. The Lakers might have been trying, but they didn't acquire another star to prove to James that they could build something special in order for him to commit to a four-year, $154 million deal.
On Friday, James formally became a free agent when he informed the Cavs he would not exercise his $35.6 million contract option for next season, making him an unrestricted free agent and the prize catch in the 2018 class. In his final season with the club, James will make $41 million. The terms were confirmed by a person familiar with the situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal can not become official until the league's offseason moratorium ends this week. From there, Los Angeles would have some roster shuffling to do to add a key second piece. And if he jumps conferences for the first time in his career, the path to the Finals is far more treacherous. James, who was in Los Angeles, is also being pursued by the Lakers, who have enough salary-cap space to sign him and another star player.
James isn't planning any more comments and there won't be a welcoming press conference or celebration in Los Angeles, a person familiar with his plans said Sunday night on the condition of anonymity.
He is, however, a talisman for winning, both in Miami and with the Cavaliers, and his presence alone as the most singularly dominant player in the game turns the Lakers into a factor.
LeBron James didn't need a super-team.
But even behind them there are teams with legitimate conference title aspirations, especially the Toronto Raptors, who have been eliminated from the playoffs by James and the Cavaliers for three straight seasons. "This will always be home", LeBron wrote on his Instagram story.