The NBA season has been over for less than a week, courtesy of the Golden State Warriors, and we already have offseason festivities in mid-July form.
The offseason has started so that means “The Summer of LeBron” has begun. Like the good law suggests, make sure you buckle your seat belts as there are sure to be some potholes along the way. Especially as we inch towards the destination of one LeBron James.
A cup was taken out of the cupboard as possible landing spots for James were uttered. From there, the answers were as clear as day as to where he could set his throne.
If only it was that simple. Here are the names that have been linked with the 15-year veteran.
Golden State Warriors
If James is certainly into ring chasing and catching Michael Jordan, why not Golden State? This would make him the biggest villain in recent memory as he would rival Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. Nothing else to add here.
The Celtics have everything James could want in a team. They have All-Stars in Al Horford and Gordon Hayward. They have young budding stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. They have a young, innovative coach with a fresh outlook on basketball as well as an aggressive executive in Danny Ainge They have Ky- actually this might not work given James and Kyrie Irving’s rocky ending in Cleveland.
Los Angeles Clippers
Jerry West built the early 2000s Lakers dynasty and he helped form the winning foundation of the Warriors so will he successfully refurbish another California franchise? Signing James would be a huge step in the right direction as he could turn the Clippers into a respected team.
Los Angeles could forge a new narrative with James as they were once the doormat of the NBA. However, are DeAndre Jordan, Lou Williams, Tobias Harris and, his best bud, Boban Marjanovic enough to coax The King? Probably not as this scenario could be nothing more than a pipe dream for Clips’ fans.
New York Knicks
Let the Fun begin 🙌🗽#cLeaveLand pic.twitter.com/hgWixRyQG2
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) June 9, 2018
“Bright lights will inspire you! Let’s hear it for New York!” That was once said by the great musician Alicia Keys and certainly applies here. LeBron has every reason to move to New York with a basketball hotbed for young ballers like his two sons. Also, he could excel in his off-the-court affairs as a producer. Basketball? Not so much.
The Knicks have 65 million dollars tied to players not named Kristaps Porzingis heading into the 2018-19 season. The Zinger is their only ticket to getting James, but there is not much talent surrounding him. New York needs to make some serious changes if they want to get The King. The problem is moving Enes Kanter, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Tim Hardaway Jr. will not be easy.
James has already made a homecoming once in his career to Cleveland so why not return to his second home? It might be a bit harder, this time around, for Pat Riley to lure him to South Beach. The Heat executive does not have two All-Stars in their prime like he did with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to help his cause either.
The Heat are lacking in star power and LeBron might not be willing to return to Miami just for the sake of returning. However, never underestimate Riley as he may have a trick or two up his sleeve. Riley alone makes the James thermostat move a little north.
San Antonio Spurs
When is the last time Gregg Popovich actually cared to recruit a player via free agency or ever? You would probably have a better chance at winning the lottery than having an answer to that question. Nevertheless, Pop wants a face-to-face meeting with James and it will be interesting to see the news that comes of that.
The news of Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs being in good spirits lately is a ringing endorsement for this potential move. With Pop James, Leonard, and LaMarcus Aldridge together, that would certainly put the league on notice.
LeBron James will either stay in Cleveland or go to Los Angeles.@GottliebShow explainspic.twitter.com/dmNMqO0oo3
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) June 13, 2018
Maybe home truly is where the heart is for “The Chosen One” as he could be perfectly content with things in Northeast, Ohio. He could certainly continue to help with the construction of a roster that lacks the third star necessary to win another ring.
James will forever be immortalized in Cleveland if he stays or leaves. He brought the Cavs their first title and won the first title in Cleveland since 1964. Do not rule out his current franchise. If he re-signs, it will be because he trusts the vision of the front office and major roster changes could be on the horizon. Remember, James is a progressive thinker.
James Harden and, if they re-sign him, Chris Paul would welcome the sight of King James marching towards their palace this summer. They were a half away from overcoming house Golden State in their quest for a championship.
The Rockets might be on a bit of a time schedule this summer. They have to figure out what to do with Clint Capela and Trevor Ariza. Also, they are more than interested in Paul George. LeBron likes to be highly sought after by the entire franchise, we have seen it in years past. Will he feel compelled to sign with a team if they are not all in on him? The ball lies in CP3’s court with this one. FIRE UP THE BANANA BOAT.
This would be the ultimate payoff to trusting the “process” for Philly if they got James’ John Hancock on a deal. There is so much young talent on that roster with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Robert Covington, and Dario Saric. Also, Brett Brown showed his brilliance this past season as the Sixers won 50-plus games for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
The naysayers out there are saying LeBron is too ball dominant as he and Simmons are similar in skillset. However, James has been vocal about playing off the ball more. Also, the length of the Sixers could be problematic especially for the Warriors as the smallest player in the starting lineup could be James at 6’8.
Signing with the Sixers could help us see a new skill of his, playing off the ball, and maybe extend his prime that much more. At the end of the day, James would hope it leads to his fourth ring.
Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron’s team next season?
[shopped odds via @betonline_ag and @BetDSI]
Any other team 100/1
— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) June 9, 2018
Well, you have heard it before. The Lakers have enough money to sign two players to max deals. They have their eyes set on a slew of other guys, but also James.
There have been rumors of LeBron buying a house in Los Angeles and enrolling his kids in schools in LA as well. He would never make it this easy to figure out where he is going. Signing James could be the first or last move of the potential domino effect the Lakers plan to start this summer.
It might be a “show me what you got” scenario between The King and the team with the second-most championships in NBA history. Adding another star like Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins could go a long way for the Lakers.
It is way too early to tell where James is heading. There will be plenty of rumors that surface about his whereabouts, but he has never been the type to show the cards in his hand. Expect James to keep his hand close to his chest. When we think he has a full house, he will reveal his royal flush, leaving the basketball world in shambles.