As we draw closer to the official beginning of free agency in the NBA, the question of where LeBron James will sign is becoming more and more intriguing. Every since his infamous “Decision” almost 8 years ago, LeBron has help make the blockbuster trades and moves of the off season more fun to watch and keep up with. With four teams mainly being mentioned in possible destinations for King James to land, I am going to give my opinion on each team, why LeBron should or shouldn’t go there, and ultimately which of the four teams the King will take his talents to.
1. Philadelphia 76ers
As soon as the Finals started, the 76ers were one of the main teams being talked about to acquire LeBron James. With two bright stars already in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the 76ers definitely have a chance to make a serious contention in the 2018-19 season if they add LeBron James to their roster. I feel as if they would be a heavy favorite in the Eastern Conference and could match up well against the Warriors. The main concern is involving the front office and team GM Bryan Colangelo, who is accused of using fake Twitter accounts to bash the organization, team, and fans. There is a fair chance that this could go on for months and LeBron may not want to deal with that headache. If he could get over the ensuing drama in the front office, James would have a nice assembled team in Philly to contend with. Another question for concern is injuries. Both Embiid and Simmons have both has their fair share of injuries. If one, or even both of them gets injured severely during the season, will LeBron have enough around him still to contend? I guess we will have to just trust the process.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
While most people have virtually written off the Cavs as the team LeBron will sign with in free agency, I think it is more of a possibility than you may think. Being the hometown kid every since he was drafted out of high school at the age of 18, LeBron has kept the Cavs relevant in the NBA every since he arrived there. It seems as if him getting drafted by the Cavs was destined to happen. Born in Akron, OH in 1984, the Cavs knew they would have no choice but to draft their hometown kid in the 2003 draft. Now in 2018, they face the dilemma of bargaining their star to stay home once again. With the departure of star Point Guard Kyrie Irving and a steadily declining roster, the Cavs are becoming less and less of a contender each year. Even though they made it to the Finals this year, it’s hard to debate that the team would not be fighting for the lottery spot if it wasn’t for LeBron. The team has made multiple transactions throughout the season to try to keep their reign over the Eastern Conference as well as contend with the Warriors in the Finals. They even made a couple of trades at the trade deadline that they believed would finally put the struggles that they were facing earlier in the season behind them. With the inability to bring in another superstar as well as the fact that they have lost LeBron before, it’s hard to say he won’t do it again. Since he has delivered the championship he promised to them in 2015, LeBron has fulfilled his promise to the city of Cleveland. It is not impossible for LeBron to stay in Cleveland, but it will take a collective effort from GM Koby Altman, Owner Dan Gilbert, and the remaining players on the roster to make a pitch to him he can’t refuse.
3. Los Angeles Lakers
As a lifelong Lakers fan, I was ecstatic when reports came out that the Lakers were a heavy favorite to land the King. The more and more I think about it, the more I can envision it becoming a reality. It is no secret James loves Los Angeles. He has property there that he usually stays and trains at during the offseason. His oldest son, LeBron James Jr, was recently enrolled at a school in Los Angeles as well. His wife and kids love L.A., he loves L.A., but does he love the Lakers? With 4 young players with bright futures ahead of them in Kyle Kuzma, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball, the Lakers are a young team that can be very dangerous with a veteran superstar added. If LeBron does indeed decide to join the Lakers, he will most likely not look to come along. Rumblings of Forward Paul George signing with his hometown Lakers this offseason could definitely help recruit the King to the Lakers. The only concern about the Lakers is if LeBron would be able to win immediately. With the Warriors continuing to be a heavy favorite in the West, it would be hard to see the Lakers immediately dethroning them in the first year of LeBron’s tenure in Los Angeles, but if James does choose the Lakers, I have 100% faith in Magic Johnson that he will assemble LeBron with the tools he needs to be successful and bring back a championship to the Lakers. I have the Lakers as having the 2nd best chance of grabbing up LeBron in free agency.
4. Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets are coming off one of their best seasons in franchise history, finishing the regular season with a 65-17 record and took the Golden State Warriors to a seven game series in the Western Conference finals. Led by Chris Paul, a long time great friend of LeBron, and James Harden, who was named the league’s MVP last night. With those two polarizing guards and a host of other great and talented role players such as Clint Capela, Eric Gordon, and PJ Tucker, the Rockets could be even better with the addition of LeBon. With the structure of the team and the way the Rockets are built, this would be a dreamlike scenario for James. A team with capable shooters in every corner and a great presence in the paint with Capela, I feel that the Rockets would most fit LeBron James’ playing style the best. He would be able to run the Pick and Roll with Clint Capela as well as drive and kick to his shooters on the perimeter who will take and make their shots. He also would have two guards who are both capable of creating their own shots in Chris Paul and James Harden. We have seen LeBron have success with guards are capable of creating their own shots in the past such as Kyrie Irving and Dwayne Wade. Combine these factors along with a nice group of reserves coming off the bench, I personally feel like the Rockets fit LeBron’s style of play better than any other team that will be mentioned in this list. I give the Rockets the best chance to land LeBron in free agency.