After dominating the conference for four years in Miami, James left the Heat for his home state with the opportunity to reclaim his once relinquished throne. The hometown boy with aspirations of Ohio immortality got one more chance to bring a championship to the glory-deprived city of Cleveland.
And he's not coming alone.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that Cleveland has a deal in place for Minnesota forward Kevin Love. The All-Star will reportedly be sent to Cleveland for a package revolving around a pair of No. 1 overall picks—2013's Anthony Bennett and 2014's Andrew Wiggins.
Adding Love to the duo of James and point guard Kyrie Irving would make for a newer, younger version of James' Big Three, which he led to four straight NBA Finals appearances. But is this new version equipped to challenge for Eastern Conference supremacy right off the bat?
There is no team better constructed to represent the East than Cleveland. Beyond their All-Star triumvirate, the Cavs still retain some youth in Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson to go along with veteran Anderson Varejao. Former Heat teammates James Jones and Mike Miller joined James in his exodus, and reportedly there could be more help on the way, per Matt Moore of CBS Sports.
With James and his new supporting cast taking a crash course in Eastern Conference domination, there are going to be a few obstacles standing in his way. Old foes, young stars on the rise and even some old friends of his are dying to knock the king off his pedestal, but who actually has the best chance to do so?
Here's a look at the teams that will present the toughest tests for James and the Cavaliers this season, both in the Eastern Conference playoffs and in the NBA Finals.