In some respects you should feel sorry for the Golden State Warriors. They’ve just won a second straight championship, their third in four years, and yet they’re nowhere near the biggest story in the league. Enjoy the parade, Warriors, just don’t be offended if our attentions are elsewhere: LeBron James may well be on the move.
After all, someone wins the NBA finals every year – and sometimes it’s not even the Warriors. But it’s a much rarer occasion that the Best Player In The Game (And Possibly Of All Time) is facing free agency.
James, understandably for a player of his talents, has always had an eye on his legacy so he places great importance on setting himself up to win further championships. How exactly he plans to do that is still unclear. Let’s explore his likely landing places.
If James is looking for a team that can automatically challenge the ridiculously stacked Golden State Warriors, the Rockets are the obvious option. While it’s going to take some financial maneuvering that would boggle the mind of even the most devoted NBA capologist, there’s a possibility that the Rockets could add James to a core that contains James Harden, most likely the MVP of the 2017-18 regular season and Chris Paul, a Hall of Fame caliber point guard. Keep in mind that before Paul’s injury, the Rockets were in position to knock the Warriors out of the playoffs this year. Adding James would instantly make Houston the biggest threat to the Warriors’ reign, well, ever.
Pro: James’s best chance to win a championship immediately.
Con: A continued, never-ending discussion about how James only won by pairing up with already established superstars.
2) Philadelphia 76ers
While it’s fun to imagine James with the Rockets’ All-Star cast, there is an intriguing option that doesn’t effectively render the entire Eastern Conference irrelevant. The 76ers have spent the last few years building a young, talented team by ignoring the on-court product and building through the draft. James’s best long-term chances may be signing with a team that already has two potential superstars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Can you imagine this team growing under the wing of James? Celtics fans can, and are, cringing right now.
Pro: Points for doing it “the right way.”
Con: Those points won’t count against the Warriors in the 2019 NBA finals. Questions over whether James And Simmons’s games complement each other.
3) Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron has been flirting with the Lakers, cheap nba jerseys
the marquee franchise in the league, for a long time. Long enough, in fact, for the Lakers to have time to set up their payroll in advance to give them space to sign two max free-agents this summer. They’ve been pretty lousy recently, but if the Lakers add James and, say, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George, they would be transformed. The Lakers hope that their place in basketball history, not to mention their status as the ultimate nexus of celebrity culture and sports, is enough to attract James, because after all that planning, no other player will seem worth it.