How LeBron James Will Fit Alongside Andrew Wiggins and Kyrie Irving

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2014

FILE - In this Dec. 25, 2009 file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James reacts during the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers in an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. James told Sports Illustrated on Friday, July 11, 2014, he is leaving the Miami Heat to go back to the Cleveland Cavaliers. (AP Photo/Lori Shepler, File)
Lori Shepler/Associated Press

"I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home."

And with those words, as told to Lee Jenkins of, LeBron James announced that he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The letter he penned was about how important it was to him to return to his hometown and bringing the city a championship. The more cynical among us might also suggest it was about recognizing that the run in Miami had probably come to an end—they got old fast—and Cleveland offered a talented, young roster to join. 

But motives, for the moment, don't really matter. LeBron is a Cavalier again. And now what will be interesting to see is how he fits in with his young teammates, namely Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins.

The Irving fit is obvious. The one thing LeBron never really had in Miami was a top point guard to distribute and handle the rock. In fact, he often played as a point forward, and is obviously talented enough to do so.

But with Irving, he'll be able to play off the ball without concern. And in the opposite vein, Irving is the type of point who is very dangerous playing off the ball himself. He averaged 20.8 points and 6.1 assists last year, but more importantly, he is a 37.8 percent shooter from beyond the arc for his career. 

So yeah, you can bet he'll be hoisting up his fair share of spot-up threes. 

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 04:  Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers grabs his arm after falling out of bounds with the ball against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on April 4, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agr
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

How LeBron will fit with Wiggins—or if he'll have to fit with him at all—is more interesting. Wiggins will certainly benefit from LeBron's effectiveness on the break, as Wiggins is at his best in transition. One would imagine the two would share quite a few highlight-worthy lobs and dunks. 

And LeBron would take a lot of pressure off of Wiggins in the half court, where his game needs a lot of growth. In Cleveland, Wiggins could focus on allowing Irving and LeBron run the show while he focuses on defense, the transition game and getting to the bucket when the ball does cycle his way. 

But will we even see Wiggins play for Cleveland? Ah, that's the question, isn't it. 

With Kevin Love still likely to be dealt away from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Wiggins would surely be the key asset in any deal that would potentially bring Love to Cleveland. And, according to ESPN, Love has already considered such a trade:

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love is "intrigued" by the idea of being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and would commit long term to the team, a source close to the situation told's Marc Stein.

Love said during a June 11 appearance on ESPN's "SportsNation" that it "burns me and hurts my heart" that he hasn't made the playoffs in six seasons in the NBA.

And so the speculation began. Ken Berger of CBS Sports hears Wiggins could be on the move:

And Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star started chasing the money:

That would obviously be a lot to give up for Love, but it's also important to consider that Cleveland won't be the only bidding team, meaning Minnesota might be able to drive up the price. And with the possibility of a trio that includes LeBron, Irving and Love—which would arguably make the Cavs title favorites—Cleveland might be willing to shell out quite a bit. 

Irving, Love and LeBron would be such a dangerous combination. They could stretch the floor, they'd be deadly in transition—remember, Love is a brilliant outlet passer—and there wouldn't be any confusion about roles. It's a scary proposition for the rest of the league. 

So yes, while Wiggins and LeBron could coexist, most Cavs fans would probably prefer to see LeBron and Love working their magic. These are heady days in Cleveland, indeed. 

King James is home. 


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