Judging by a report from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Agent Rich Paul has given enough belief to the Cleveland Cavaliers of LeBron James‘ return that the organization is taking the proper measures to offer The King a maximum contract salary.
Paul is a lifelong friend of James and the president of Klutch Sports. His offices are in Cleveland and he’s long confided to friends that he would like to return James to the place where he started his NBA career 10 years ago, according to Wojnarowski.
“(Paul’s) encouraging Cavaliers officials to offer no restraint in the recruitment of James,” sources told the Yahoo reporter.
There is some risk in being fooled by James again. He set the Cavs’ back centuries by not making his intentions known in 2010, and the franchise could end up playing the role of loser again if they compromise their financial standing only to see James play elsewhere.
But would Paul really want to put James in a bad light after LBJ spent the last four years repairing a brand that was tarnished in “The Decision?”
“For James, a four-time MVP and two-time NBA champion, the stakes are far higher. If Paul gets up the hopes of the franchise and Northeast Ohio without delivering James’ return, Paul risks playing a part in the turning James into a villain all over again.”
It’s also worthy to point out that Paul is laying the groundwork for another future payday. If James returns, Paul would have huge leverage in negotiating a contract extension for Cavs’ power forward Tristan Thompson.
“The Cavaliers could have no choice but to pay Thompson–a serviceable young forward–far above market price as a giveback for Paul’s part in James’ potential return to the Cavaliers.”