At long last, LeBron James‘ 2014 decision has come. The NBA‘s best player is returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, perhaps bringing about the only situation in which Cleveland fans will ultimately forgive him for the infamous free agency debacle from 2010.
LeBron joins a solid nucleus of talent in Cleveland that includes Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins. He’ll play under a relative unknown at the coaching position in David Blatt, who has yet to oversee an NBA game even as an assistant. Good friend Anderson Varejao is still on the Cavaliers roster as well.
Cleveland’s starting lineup will likely have Irving and Dion Waiters holding down the two guard spots. James will play the three with Tristan Thompson and Varejao at the four and five. That lineup offers up an intriguing mix of skills; LeBron’s playmaking should fit like a glove with Irving’s overall offensive excellence and Waiters’ improving shooting. Varejao should provide plenty of second-chance opportunities, and Thompson injects some energy into the group.
James’ well-documented fantastic perimeter defense should take a huge load off of Irving’s shoulders, who is one of the worst defenders in the league. Cleveland can now hide him on defense against some of the opposition’s less threatening players while using James to shut down the likes of Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo.
LeBron is a much better player than the already-dominant star he was last time around with the Cavaliers, and he has a clearly superior supporting cast this time. Cleveland is now the odds-on favorite to contend for the NBA title in the weak Eastern Conference.