Four years ago LeBron James became a free agent, whipping the basketball world into a frenzy over his future.
An hour-long TV special was used to announce that James, a Cleveland native, was leaving his home-town Cavaliers to form an All-Star alliance with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh at the Miami Heat.
Four years, two titles and two MVP awards later, the Heat now know how the Cavs felt as James opted out of the final two years of his contract in South Beach to become a free agent once again.
Whether James uses another TV show, which he was roundly criticised for last time, to announce his next decision remains to be seen, but his availability on the market has worked a number of franchises, as well as the media, into a fever.
Having been comfortably beaten by the San Antonio Spurs in last season’s Finals, it’s thought James’ decision to enter free agency is a ploy to pressure his former Miami owners into bolstering their squad ahead of next season.
It’s certainly feasible that James will be a Heat player again next season, and Ladbrokes make Miami the 1/10 favourites to resign the player ahead of the new campaign.
However, being a free agent means that any franchise can make a sales pitch to the player and it’s just as possible that a new team could turn James’ head.
A return home to the Cavaliers is certainly an option, especially with the young, talent-laden squad that’s being assembled at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Having landed the number one pick in the draft in three of the last four years, the Cavaliers are assembling a youthful squad that James could mentor as his career reaches its peak.
It’s 8/1 that James returns to the side that drafted him in 2003, with the Houston Rockets leading the chasing pack at 16/1. However, a switch to a team outside those leading two in the betting would be a huge shock.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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