Return of the King: LeBron to rejoin Cavaliers

(WKYC) CLEVELAND -- The former King of Cleveland is coming home to re-ascend to his throne.

According to Sports Illustrated, free-agent small forward LeBron James is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, four years after he left the franchise to pursue NBA championships alongside fellow forward Chris Bosh and guard Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat.

Along with his agent, Rich Paul, the Akron native and St. Vincent-St. Mary High School graduate, who won two NBA titles with the Heat and competed in four straight NBA Finals during his four-year run in Miami, met with Heat president Pat Riley Wednesday in Las Vegas and then, his decision was announced in a Sports Illustrated article titled, 'I'm coming home.'

James was selected by the Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. He spent the first seven years of his career in Cleveland before testing the free-agent market and moving onto the Heat.

PHOTOS: Lebron James through the years

Originally, James signed a six-year deal with the Cavaliers back in 2010 before orchestrating a trade to the Heat, and then, elected to opt out of his contract with two years remaining. Had he elected to stay with the Heat, James would have earned $20 million this coming season, and $42.7 million over the remaining two years of the contract.

In order to clear the requisite salary cap space to sign James, the Cavaliers traded point guard Jarrett Jack and shooting guard Sergey Karasev to the Brooklyn Nets and center Tyler Zeller, as well as a top-10 protected pick in 2016, to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday morning. In return, the Cavaliers got rights to two European players and a top-55 protected pick from the Boston Celtics in the 2015 NBA Draft.

James guided the Cavaliers to the 2007 NBA Finals after they defeated the vaunted Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals, as well as back-to-back Central Division championships in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.

During his seven years in Cleveland, James was a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, six-time All-Star starter, and two-time NBA All-Star MVP, a four-time All-NBA First-Team Selection, 26-time NBA Player of the Week and 15-time NBA Player of the Month.

James is the Cavaliers' franchise single-season leader in points scored (2,478 in 2005-2006), minutes played (3,388 in 2004-2005), field goals attempted (1,823) and made (875 in 2005-2006), free throws attempted (814) and made (601 in 2005-2006), and scoring average (31.4 points per game in 2005-2006).

In 548 games with the Cavaliers, James set franchise records for the most points scored (15,251), scoring average (27.8 points per game), field goals made (5,415) and attempted (11,403), free throws made (3,650) and attempted (4,917), three-pointers attempted (2,344), steals (955), minutes played (22,119) and turnovers (1,802).

James is responsible for the six best single seasons in Cavaliers history as it relates to scoring, scoring average and free throws attempted, has 18 of the team's top 20 single-game scoring marks of all time, and led the NBA in scoring during the 2007-2008 season.

In addition to his regular-season statistics, James is the Cavaliers' franchise leader for points scored (2,081), scoring average (29.3 points per game), assists (520), field goals made (690) and attempted (1,504), steals (117), free throws made (594) and attempted (800), three-pointers made (107) and attempted (339), defensive rebounds (500), total rebounds (598) and minutes played (3,086) during the postseason.


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