LeBron James has enough to worry about with the Los Angeles Lakers. As an avid fan of NBA basketball with a special interest in his hometown franchise, though, the four-time MVP couldn’t help but chime in on the Cleveland Cavaliers blockbuster trade for Donovan Mitchell.

Needless to say, James believes the upstart Cavaliers have a chance to make much more noise in the Eastern Conference than last season, when a rash of injuries ultimately pushed them out of the playoffs.

Cleveland’s new of core of Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen is among the most intriguing collections of young talent in the league.

Mitchell and Garland should immediately comprise a dangerous, dynamic and ultimately flammable backcourt, feeding off defensive attention paid to the other both with and without the ball. Their defensive shortcomings are obvious, but no frontcourt tandem in basketball is better equipped to mitigate them than Mobley and Allen, both of whom had legitimate All-Defense cases in 2021-22.

Cleveland will no doubt be much improved this season, poised to make the playoffs for first time since James’ departure in 2018. But the real intrigue following Mitchell’s acquisition is what could come down the line, when Garland reaches his prime and Mobley taps completely into the all-court impact that made him a revelation as a rookie. Mitchell and Allen both have room left to grow, too.

The Cavaliers have finally stepped fully out of James’ looming shadow. Still, don’t be surprised if he keeps an especially close eye on Cleveland from now on, quietly reveling in the coming success of his former team.