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Sheridan: LeBron James is “100 percent leaving” Cleveland

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Former ESPN NBA writer Chris Sheridan quotes a source saying the upcoming season will be James’ last with the team

NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Since the NBA Finals concluded last June, rumors that LeBron James was considering leaving the Cavaliers after the 2017-18 season have swirled across the league. On Thursday, NBA writer Chris Sheridan cited a source confirming that the upcoming season will be LeBron’s final season in Cleveland:

The Cavaliers’ off-season has already been tumultuous. They parted ways with general manager David Griffin just a few days before the draft—a move not endorsed by James—and did not name a replacement GM until late July. They have not been able to add rumored potential trade targets Paul George or Carmelo Anthony, and news leaked that last month that All-Star PG Kyrie Irving had requested a trade.

Joe Vardon, who covers the Cavs for Cleveland.com, has denied Sheridan’s report:

It’s unclear who Sheridan’s source is, but it’s worth noting that Sheridan was the first person to report that James was returning to Cleveland back in 2014. The Cavaliers have made the NBA Finals each of the three seasons since LeBron returned, winning the NBA Championship in 2016.

The 32-year-old forward averaged 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 8.7 assists for the Cavaliers last season, his 14th in the NBA. He is scheduled to make $33.3 million this year. His contract includes a $35.6 million player option in 2018-19.