LeBron James would ‘obviously’ want to buy Cavs when time comes
LeBron James is already thinking about the next chapter of his life and his mind has been made up. No, this doesn’t mean that he is ready to bolt Cleveland to make a new life in another city for another team, but it’s the exact opposite.
James spoke to The Athletic earlier this year to make his intentions crystal clear.
I will own a team someday. That’s my next thing.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the closest team to his native hometown Akron, so it’s natural that the very first team he would look at buying into would be the obvious choice. Not only would he garner plenty of support but he’d be first in line if Gilbert would be willing to sell.
To be an owner of any team would be crazy. 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.
Being an owner is certainly a long-term goal for James and while he has been able to positively help teammates earn some extra contract money over the years, he has managed to be among the highest paid players in the league, not including endorsements.
James’ net worth would likely be near $1 billion once he is ushered off into retirement, but that would still require him to put together a stable ownership group to make what would be one of his biggest moves ever to happen.
Before any of this happens, other cards would have to fall in line. If the Cavs were available when James retires, the price of the franchise will likely be much more than what it stands at today.
Gilbert bought the team at an estimated $375 million back in 2005, which is now estimated at $1.2 billion according to Forbes valuations, which usually have lower estimate values than what they actually are.
That isn’t to say James couldn’t produce the assets because he has enough influence and the right people around him to make it happen. It would also mean getting past his somewhat rocky relationship with Gilbert enough to complete a trusting business transaction if Gilbert is willing to sell.
On Gilbert’s side, he could potentially look to sell the team when the Quicken Loans arena lease ends in 2027. He has promised the city that he would not move the franchise, but his timeline to sell if he chooses to do so doesn’t have to align with James’ plans and thus opens the door for a different buyer.
Sure James has stated he’d love to stay in the league until he can play against his son, but while it’s a possibility, it’s also a stretch if he wants to move on to bigger things by the time he hits the age of 40.
The two potential timelines could match up and there would be no better person to sell the team to than the one who led the team to its first and only championship, but both sides interests need to align at the same time.
While it seems like something out of a book, it’s very well possible that King James could own his hometown team one day and that would also put the city into a frenz, in a good way.