LeBron James Says He'd 'Obviously' Be Interested in Potentially Buying Cavaliers

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2017

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James gestures after a  basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers aren't for sale. 

But if Dan Gilbert ever makes the franchise available to the highest bidder, LeBron James could be interested in buying the team that drafted him first overall in 2003. 

"To be an owner of any team would be crazy," James told The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd (h/t Yahoo Sports' Ben Rohrbach. "If this thing opened up and I’m in a position financially, and I've got the right team around me, obviously. But who's to say Dan will (sell)? I've always kept it just player/owner at this point. I guess once I come down to that point, if the conversation needed to be had, I'll have it. But I don't have it right now."

It's not the first time James has hinted at a potential future as an owner. 

In May, James told Ken Berger of The Athletic (h/t SB Nation's Kristian Winfield) the idea of owning an NBA team once his playing career was over intrigued him. 

"I will own a team someday," James said. "That's my next thing.

"Why do I want to own team? I think it'll be cool. I'll stay part of the game and still be able to put people in positions of power. I've always loved that, putting people in a position of power to feel like they can make a change and make things happen."

When it comes to the Cavaliers, principal ownership would be dependent on Gilbert ever wanting to sell the team, as James noted. 

If Gilbert took that step, he'd be sure to fetch a king's ransom for the club. According to Forbes' latest valuation, the Cavaliers are worth $1.2 billion. 

And if recent transactions are any indication, Gilbert could top that number by more than a few hundred million. 

In September, the Houston Rockets—who are valued at $1.6 billion—sold to Tilman J. Fertitta for a league-record $2.2 billion. 

Were James to form an ownership group, he likely wouldn't be light on cash. 

The three-time champion has earned $203.7 million in NBA contracts, and he's made loads more as a businessman and brand ambassador. 

In addition to a lifetime Nike contract that's reportedly worth more than $1 billion, James has profited tremendously from his deals with Beats Electronics, Coca-Cola and Kia Motors. 

According to Forbes, James ($86 million) is the world's second-highest paid athlete this year behind Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo ($93 million).