The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the edge of being swept in the NBA Finals, but there is much more at stake in Game 4 than just extending the series.
No matter the outcome of the NBA Finals, the Cavaliers will be facing the challenge of trying to convince LeBron James to remain in Cleveland.
James, 33, is averaging over 37 points per game, 10.7 assists, and 9 rebounds per game in the Finals, but has had very little consistent help.
He can opt out of the final year of his contract and join the free agency class this summer. From there, the possibilities are endless.
Will he stay in Northeast Ohio?
James was born and raised in Akron. He was drafted by the Cavs from St. Vincent-St. Mary's High School, despised when he departed for Miami, and forgiven by most when he returned to the Cavs and delivered a championship.
Will he chase championships?
If the Cavs fall in the 2018 NBA Finals, James will have six championship losses tied to his name compared to three wins. The Cavaliers do not have enough to compete with the Golden State Warriors and will be hit hard by the luxury tax, making it difficult for the Cavs to land any other superstars to assist James. Philadelphia and Houston have been rumored destinations for James with both teams in "win-now" mode.
Will he make a business decision?
If James decides that his legacy is not a priority, he could decide to join one of the big-market Los Angeles teams. Lakers or Clippers could provide James a huge contract and a place to continue his business ventures. Most Las Vegas oddsmakers are betting the Lakers as his top landing spot, with Cleveland coming in at No. 7.
Game 4 is a "do-or-die" situation for the Cavaliers, not only in the NBA Finals but also for the team's future. The Cavs host the Warriors Friday at 9 p.m.
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