Channing Frye on LeBron James: ‘If it’s his last year, I think he takes less money to go back to Cleveland’

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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Former Cleveland Cavaliers player Channing Frye believes that LeBron James would be willing to return to the team and take less money to complete his legendary career.


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The idea that James would choose to end his career in a Cavaliers uniform is one that’s periodically arisen since the superstar left in free agency in 2018.

James began his career with the team as the top overall pick of the 2003 NBA Draft. After seven seasons, he left to join the Miami Heat as a free agent.

Heated controversy over that move subsided with Cavs fans in 2014, when James chose to re-sign with the Cavaliers. During the next four seasons, the team reached the NBA Finals every year and captured the 2016 NBA title.

James has one more year remaining on his current deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, and his status beyond that has led to plenty of speculation.

One of the chief reasons why James’ status over the next few years is uncertain is because of comments he has made about his son Bronny. The elder James has indicated that he’ll play with whatever team ends up adding his son.

The earliest the younger James can be drafted is 2024, though there’s no guarantee that he will be selected. However, in all likelihood, he figures to be chosen, with plenty of teams willing to make that choice if the elder James is also part of the package.

The Cavs could end up getting involved, though the elder James will turn 40 years of age during the 2024-25 season. Also, exactly how much of a pay cut he’d be willing to take is uncertain.

For now, Frye’s speculation should simply be taken with a grain of salt.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.