Report: LeBron James Wouldn't Commit to Cavs When Asked by Dan Gilbert

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James accepts his NBA championship ring from Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert before a basketball game against the New York Knicks in Cleveland, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Phil Long)
Phil Long/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James reportedly wouldn't commit to the team beyond the 2017-18 NBA season when owner Dan Gilbert asked about his long-term plans during the trade talks that eventually sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN.com provided the update Wednesday. James holds a player option that could make him an unrestricted free agent at season's end.

In September, the 33-year-old Ohio native confirmed his intention to finish his career in Cleveland but noted he'd reassess the situation after the season ended.

"It hasn't changed," James told reporters. "And that's why I sit up here today, still in this uniform, still ready to lead this franchise to a championship, put us in a position where we can be successful."

He added: "Anytime I'm able to be free agent or my contract ends, I'll approach that when the summer comes. At the end of the day I have a contract and I will fill out that obligation, which I've always done."

Meanwhile, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reported in November the Philadelphia 76ers were set to join a group of potential suitors that includes the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets should LeBron leave Cleveland for a second time.

The relationship between James and Gilbert could play a key role in the decision-making process.

Gilbert penned an infamous open letter to Cavaliers fans in 2010 after the future Hall of Famer signed with the Miami Heat. James told Mark Anthony Green of GQ in October he felt the letter was racial.

In the same interview, LeBron said he'll give the city of Cleveland "passion, commitment and inspiration" but noted he "owes nobody anything."


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