Report: LeBron James did not commit to Cavs beyond 2018 before Lakers trade
The trade the Cleveland Cavaliers made with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday only seems to make sense if they plan on keeping LeBron James beyond the current season, but apparently LeBron still has not given them any such guarantee.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Cavs did not receive a commitment from LeBron that he will return next season before they pulled the trigger on sending Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and its first-round pick in the upcoming draft for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.
The Cavs did not get a commitment from LeBron James that he will stay past this season before executing today's trade, sources said. Team still took on $28 million and traded a future first. https://t.co/Eal9t1E0bG
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) February 8, 2018
As Windhorst noted previously, the deal allowed the Lakers to free up enough salary cap space for a max contract slot this summer. They have been considered a potential suitor for LeBron, so the Cavs could end up making it easier for L.A. to sign James if he chooses to bolt in free agency.
The Cavs still have one asset that they are clinging to in case LeBron decides to leave again, but the deal they made Thursday clearly wasn’t made with rebuilding in mind. Perhaps they are confident James still sees them as his best chance to win championships going forward.