Now that the NBA Finals have come and gone again, it is time to address the biggest question mark in sports right now: Which team will Lebron James lead next season?
After the Warriors’ championship sweep of the Cavaliers, Lebron’s frustrations with his team could be seen on the court as well as in the physical toll they took off the court. Lebron could
be seen after game one with a popped blood vessel in his eye and a mysterious hand injury (fans later learned the injury came from punching a whiteboard). Lebron has until June 29th to
reach a verdict on whether he will pick up and move from his hometown to test the waters of an NBA Championship somewhere besides Cleveland. All signs point to him packing his bags and moving to a more talented roster.
So, let’s examine his best (or worst) options.
The Houston Rockets present a strong argument to convince the King to travel down to Texas. With an experienced roster behind James Harden, Chris Paul and Trevor Ariza, Lebron
would be a great component that could turn this squad into a superteam. This team is Lebron’s best chance of winning a title and defeating the Warriors immediately. Chris Paul, a veteran going into his 13th season, has openly tried to recruit the King down to H-town. Stacked with 2017 NBA season MVP James Harden, the Rocket offense would be close to untouchable.
Because of Philadelphia’s young talent and its status as one of the nation’s hottest sports cities, Lebron could end up a 76er. By joining Philadelphia’s rising stars, big man Joel Embiid and point guard Ben Simmons, this trio together could take over the Eastern Conference with force. Embiid, otherwise known as “The Process”, can create a force down low in the post that would be hard to counter. Ben Simmons at point guard would provide Lebron the optimal ball handler to deliver him the basketball. Simmons has already been regarded as the best passer in the league. With a big man and smart ball handler, this could be the perfect recipe to sway Lebron towards Philadelphia.
Another young team looking to persuade James to make a move towards its city is Los Angeles. Magic Johnson and the Lakers, although they would need to make one more acquisition to fill in holes of their roster, would provide James a historic organization to help win a championship and a great city to retire in with his family. Also, the Lakers have enough cap space in their budget to give the King all the money he wants. Lebron already owns property in LA and rumour has it he just enrolled his children to schools in the LA area. Could this be a sign? The problems facing Lebron in this decision loom in the region of player personnel. Does Lebron want to get tied up in the business of Lonzo Ball and the big baller brand? In recent years the young players of the Lakers have caused a multitude of distractions off the court. Does Lebron want to deal with that?
Could a reunion with former teammate Kyrie Irving be in the cards for Lebron? Reports from Lebron himself claim that he does have a summer meeting set up with the Boston Celtics’ organization. If the Celtics make moves for Lebron they would have to give up a big contract, such as Al Horford, to open up cap space for the move. Joining the young and highly talented
squad of Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Jayson Tatum would make the Celtics the Eastern Conference favorite. Since this move is unlikely, it seems as if every team still has its chance to make a pitch.
A duo of Lebron and coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs would be hard to stop. Putting one of the best coaches in NBA history with one of the best players in NBA History would be hard to stop. However, superstar Kawhi Leonard has been extremely vocal about his desire to leave San Antonio which will most likely steer the King clear away from this city. Also, Coach Popp’s time at the helm of the Spurs seems to be running out as he is nearly seventy years old.
Will Lebron choose to stay in his hometown? Staying true to Cleveland and choosing not to pursue a championship elsewhere would most likely lead to the end James’ career without anymore rings.
This decision will primarily center around the King not wanting to relocate his family. Sources confirm that Lebron’s wife has apparently said she would rather not move from her home in Cleveland and that Lebron will pick the best city that suits his family. Ultimately, Lebron’s decision will air on the side of whichever team is the best career move for him.
Wherever the King lands, his chosen team’s odds of winning the NBA Championship will soar. Lebron James will choose the best combination of what is easy for his family and the best career move. Until Lebron chooses a city fit for his talents, the world’s fans will anxiously bite on their fingernails waiting for the King to sign a contract.