The Cleveland Cavaliers have not made the playoffs in three seasons since LeBron James announced that he was taking his talents to South Beach.
Not five, not six, not seven, but just two NBA Championships later and the Miami Heat are one year away from facing a potential monumental free agent period — similar to the one from three years ago. James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all have players options following the 2013-14 season, which could certainly make things interesting next summer. Throw in the fact that Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant could also potentially hit the market, and well, NBA fans could be for quite the free agent period in 2014.
Of course there are the distant rumblings of a match between James and a potential return to Cleveland. At this juncture however, nobody really knows if the 1) LeBron has interest in returning; or 2) Cleveland has interest in bringing him back. But it’s a thought.
Either way, the Cavaliers have done an excellent job in potentially setting themselves for a re-pursuit of James next summer. Kyrie Irving is a budding star at the point guard position and Dion Waiters appears to have an undeniable ceiling in his own right. Throw in the fact that Cleveland just drafted Anthony Bennett with the No. 1 overall pick in last month’s NBA Draft and it’s obvious that the Cavaliers have built themselves a pretty solid core.
There biggest move forward however, was the recent free agent signing of Andrew Bynum. It’s a high risk, high reward scenario, but it’s one that could have huge dividends and let’s be serious — a potential big three of Irving, James and Bynum may just be something that is enticing a year from now, especially if Bynum can have a big season in 2013-14.
Eh, who knows if any ground on a potential return to Cleveland will surface next summer for LeBron, but if it does ever amount to anything, the Cavaliers have at least positioned themselves to give the world’s best player a sales pitch.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS