Now that the 2018 NBA Draft has passed, it is time to discuss the next hot topic, LeBron James. That’s right, it’s time to decide, where will LeBron be playing basketball later this year?
Joining an Old Friend
Firstly, let’s begin this free agency investigation in Houston, with the Rockets. Now, before you swiftly leave the article, hear me out. As everyone knows, the Rockets boast incredible talent in Chris Paul and James Harden already. Harden is likely to become the MVP of the league for his persistently accurate shooting ability which was pivotal in the teams success this season past, however, Harden is not against sharing the ball.
This has been evidenced through his play with the future HOFer, Chris Paul, on his team. Speaking of which, Chris Paul and LeBron are great friends, only adding further reason to build the super team of the decade. There’s a reason that the Rockets were the first team I could think of.
Mostly because they’re the franchise that has the smallest chance. In order to sign LeBron to a max deal, they would have to lose most of their roster, including the likes of Trevor Ariza, Clint Capela and Eric Gordon. Therefore, it appears that the franchise wouldn’t, and probably shouldn’t sell their souls in order to land the King.
The Obvious Option
The next franchise who are be on the hunt to sign Lebron are the Lakers. The Los Angeles franchise were once the most feared. Whether it be Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Lakers have always been bestowed with greatness.
More importantly, the Lakers have the most cap space of any team in the NBA and can afford to offer Lebron a three-year max contract. With the right moves with current players, the team could have enough cap space to land free agent, Paul George. Now, couple these two All-Stars with the ever improving young guns, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, and the Lakers could become the next powerhouse in the Western Conference.
The Beast In The East
The third team on the radar aiming to land the King are the Philadelphia 76ers.
Their talented roster already bolsters exquisite talent. With the likes of Ben Simmons, one of the rising stars of the league and a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year, a star centre in Joel Embiid and the talented youngster Dario Šarić, the 76ers could be elevated to the greatest of heights.
Furthermore, with LeBron on the team, the 76ers could be the no.1 seed within the Eastern Conference for years to come, in part due to the sheer weakness of the rest of the teams in the Conference. The franchise holds the second most cap space of any team in the NBA, they would only be forced to make a few changes to the roster in order to free up space for a max deal. With that in mind, equipping LeBron on this already red hot team could spark lead wide domination, which truly could create the newest beast in the East.
Everybody knows that LeBron James was born and raised in Ohio. He played basketball for St Mary-St Vincent Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. His roots are and forever will be attached to the Land. In his 15 year career, he has been the most important thing that has ever happened to the city and, despite having left for Miami to claim two championship rings, he returned to capture the hearts of the people of Cleveland and won the Cavs their first championship in over 5 decades.
Nevertheless, basketball is all about winning and in spite of all the rumours, Cleveland might be his best chance of doing exactly that. It would be fairly easy for the Cavs to retain LeBron. He would have to opt-in to the final year of his contract, which would intensify the onus on the front office to recruit stars which will help the Cavs to continue to contend for the championship. There are even potential rumours that hint at signing Paul George. However, the chances of this being accomplished are slim, considering they’d need to find around $60 million in cap space, not easy, but doable.
In conclusion, it is evident that King James’ decision will purely come down to where his loyalties lie. Going the Cavs route would prove his loyalty to his hometown and further cement his legacy as the Greatest Of All Time, especially if he could win another ring.
However, it is arguably the hardest route for him to go in order to hold the Larry O’Brian trophy once more.
On the other hand, signing with the 76ers could retract from his potential GOAT status, as many LeBron critics would consider it a Durant-esque manoeuvre. If LeBron was to elect to play for either of the Western Conference franchises, it would definitely heat up the competition, however, it would also render the Eastern Conference fairly irrelevant. Thus, the best decision for Lebron and the league, would be to resign with the Cavaliers and to recapture the championship again, something that would eclipse the career of the almost untouchable Michael Jordan.