If LeBron goes to LA it’s to Win. His family is a bonus.
NBA Free Agency might as well be called Lebron Free Agency at this point. If he decides to end his career with the Cavaliers we can expect him to continue to play at a high level and continue to pass Jordan and Kobe in every stat minus Rings – is that all what we really think LeBron wants? All off the court talks aside, the man has 3-4 years left to give to the sport (if he doesn’t get a serious injury) many will point to the fact that Los Angeles makes perfect sense because LeBron has a house there and it will be easier to see his family. I’m just going to say I don’t buy that as a legitimate reason at all. If I’m James, my family knows how much I’ve given to this game and what I am chasing. Once you’re done…. you’re done. This is the exact reason why it is so hard for many players to retire and they continue to play until they are on their last leg, ESPECIALLY the greats. Which is the sort of thing LeBron is chasing, Greatest Of All time. This article isn’t about, what makes the most sense in terms of my family and seeing them, or travel time, or “how nice the city is” (looking at you Philadelphia). This article is — if I’m Lebron, and I really want those last 2-3 rings, what do I have to do to get them.
The easiest choice but the hardest to make happen would be the Huston Rockets.Regardless of what Harden said at the NBA awards, you played a Golden State warrior team where Steph was coming off an injury and there was no Iggy. You can talk about just needing Chris Paul to be healthy, and that you were 30 seconds away from going to the finals, but it didn’t happen and that’s it. If you didn’t win a ring you lost one. The problem with getting LeBron to Huston is Houston’s Cap room. Ryan Anderson in specific. It is understood that acquiring Lebron outright is close to impossible, the Rockets just don’t have enough money. While many point to the fact that a sign and Trade by the Cavs IS possible, the fact remains that the pieces that would need to be traded for LeBron James wouldn’t fall into place because of money issues and incentives. Getting Ariza and Capella to agree to be signed just to get traded wouldn’t be in their best interests. You never know though, if James can make some calls and get it done, this is a no brainer.
With all Lakers Bias aside, Lebron could start a new super team in Los Angeles which would Rival that of Huston and Golden State. With the ability to offer two max contracts we have already seen the city fishing for Lebron and Paul George. Although that wouldn’t be enough, the Lakers have a lot of young pieces that are holding value. The question would be who else would you put with Lebron and PG13 respectively. This is where things get interesting because I feel like Lebron is in part of his career where he would be willing to play off the ball if there was a point guard whom had the ability and drive to be unselfish at the position (especially if you are trying to add three high level players to the roster). Look no further than Lonzo ball, although he has the intangibles to make plays and score he has always seemed to be a pass first guard. Partner that with his ability to play good defense (when he is paying attention) I don’t think LeBron would mind having the rock passed to him by Ball. Now to acquiring that third all-star- I think Khawi is that missing piece. Much like George, he plays defense, he can score, he is unselfish, and he is looking for a team where he doesn’t have to “defer” to a player who needs the spot light. The Lakers could trade, Ingram, Kuzma & another piece potentially Frye, Randle, or even Ball if it came down to that (which I don’t think it would). You could play small ball which is the NBA’s new go to and have Lebron, Khawi, and George, rotate onto almost anyone on the court leaving Ball to guard point while having room for a center (which the Lakers drafted). People might counter and say that all three of those players play the same position, but Lebron can guard any position really, and that leaves Khawi and PG13 whom both have the strength to get big down low and lock down guys out on the perimeter. One can only dream am I right.
Last but certainly not the least would be Philly. Like I said it’s not glamorous, the teams history leaves a lot to be desired, and you’re playing with a bunch of young up and coming stars. Simmons has proven himself more than adequate at dishing the ball which means LeBron can play off the ball. You probably won win a ring next year or the even the year after but come LeBron’s third/fourth year in Philly he could walk out with a ring.
All we are really sure of is if LeBron stays in Cleveland, he’s essentially given up chasing rings. He has come to terms with the “What ifs”, that will circulate around his name every time its brought up in barber shops across America. That just isn’t a path I see LeBron taking.