Of course, even though they’re favored, the Lakers are just one team
and a lot of franchises have a compelling case to land King James.
Here’s a quick-hitting pitch for every single team:
Let’s start where King James already resides. His legacy is in Ohio, he
was literally born here, and he may not love the idea of uprooting his
family for the third time in his career.
The Cavs may not be the favorites to win it all next year, but they can
at least get back to the Finals again.
As long as that’s on the table and Cleveland keeps trying to beef up
his supporting cast, James has enough reason to stick around.
If James is going to jump ship, a lateral move to another Eastern
Conference foe makes a lot of sense. Of the lot, Boston jumps out the
James knows just how good this team is, as his Cavs barely edged them
out in the Eastern Conference Finals and that was with both Gordon
Hayward and Kyrie Irving sidelined with injuries.
The Celtics would have to move money around and give up some key young
prospects, but it might be worth it. Landing James would eliminate
their main competition and probably thrust them to the top of the
Another lateral move that might be just as good as Philly. The Sixers
have been pitching to James with billboards and players via social
media all year, while if any team is on the rise, it’s them.
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid anchor one of the most stacked young
rosters in the league, while this team also has an array of shooters at
James would join a playoff-ready roster that could very well leap to
NBA Finals favorites status with him in tow.
Even if it took some time, there’s no denying Philly’s roster pieces
greatly trump the team around him in Cleveland right now.
Los Angeles Lakers
Let’s kick things to the Western Conference for a second, as the Lakers
remain the top threat to land LeBron right now.
The rumors are endless and know no bounds, too.
Some whispers suggest James wants to lure Kevin Durant to La La Land,
while others suggest James won’t go unless the Lake Show lands Kawhi
Leonard in a trade with the Spurs first.
There are moving pieces here, but there’s no denying the allure of
joining up with other stars to form a new super team on one of the
greatest NBA franchises ever.
It’s just going to take the perfect timing to have it all work out.
Los Angeles Clippers
If James loves the idea of going to Los Angeles, maybe his infatuation
extends to all California-based teams.
That throws the Clips’ hat in the ring in theory, especially since they
have a solid roster but lack an impact star.
If the Lakers can’t get it done, maybe the Clippers move money around
to bring back CP3, sign Paul George and then also land LeBron James.
It’s asking a lot, but if L.A. is the preferred destination, I don’t
think NBA fans can rule Lob City out just yet.
Speaking of stacked talent, the Denver Nuggets are absolutely loaded
and they may just lack the superstar grit James can provide.
Nikola Jokic just signed a fat long-term deal and this team has role
players abound. Their main weakness is inconsistency out of the point
guard position, but with James in town, he’d be the main man directing
Their biggest flaw would be a non-issue and Denver could jump from
fringe playoff hopefuls to viable title threats.
James fled Cleveland for South Beach the first time around, so who is
to say he won’t do the same exact thing again?
Buddy Dwyane Wade is back in Miami, while the Heat have a pretty good
supporting cast beyond him.
Goran Dragic is a solid point guard option, while guys like Josh
Richardson, Justise Winslow, Kelly Olynyk, Dion Waiters, James Johnson
and even Hassan Whiteside give James a solid supporting cast to work
This admittedly isn’t the best roster for James to join, of course, so
his friendship with D-Wade and love for Miami may need to take
This would be pretty epic. Perhaps not necessarily for James, but for a
smaller NBA market like Milwaukee.
The Bucks are already pretty stacked, as Giannis Antetokounmpo is one
of the most dynamic players in the league and guys like Eric Bledsoe,
Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton round out a pretty fun lineup.
Add in explosive rookie guard Donte DiVincenzo, and the Bucks may be
one huge piece from making some serious noise in the NBA playoffs.
This would come way out of left field, but the roster is good enough to
lift James up and he wouldn’t have to join up with other bitter Eastern
Conference rivals to improve his title-winning chances.
Should King James be open to going with hated Eastern Conference foes,
you need to add the Wizards to the mix.
After all, if the Celtics, Heat and 76ers all have a realistic shot,
then why not Washington?
The Wizards have been a yearly playoff contender for a while now, while
a trio of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter gives James the
surrounding support he’d need to make a legit Finals run.
Money is the problem here. As things stand, James can’t join this D.C.
squad until some financials get worked out. However, the Wiz are close
to upping their game to the next level and somehow landing James would
help them achieve that.
Another Eastern Conference rival James shouldn’t completely rule out is
the Raptors. He’s endlessly been their bane of existence, but what if
he tossed this rivalry aside and just helped them out?
Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka in theory
give James a massive upgrade in terms of roster support, while Toronto
gets that elusive missing link between them and a title run.
Toronto is another team where the money doesn’t quite add up but
shedding a few unwanted contracts could help give them a shot.
San Antonio Spurs
Kawhi Leonard wants to bolt because he doesn’t trust the Spurs and he
also wants to be in a bigger market. However, if James can head to
Texas, he may change his tune in a hurry.
King James has long been a fan of Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, so
if he gets confirmation that Leonard won’t be going anywhere, I’m not
sure we can fully deny this possibility.
A star trio of James, Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge looks pretty
daunting on paper.
As things stand, it’s tough to write off the Rockets, even though James
supposedly “hates” Houston as a destination city.
Not liking the city you’ll be living in has to be considered a huge red
flag, but James would otherwise be inheriting an awesome roster with
two studs in James Harden and Chris Paul next to him.
Houston has been the closest to dethroning the Golden State Warriors
lately, too, as a CP3 injury kept them from knocking out the defending
champs this past season.
If James really wants to get past the Dubs and win another title,
joining forces with CP3 and The Beard may be his best bet.
In the end, I think James is looking at two realistic options; staying
in Cleveland for another year or going to L.A.
This probably comes down to legacy and comfort versus title-chasing.
James said during the NBA Finals this summer that he was still in
“championship mode”, though, so if the Lakers can swing the right
moves, it wouldn’t be that shocking if he did, in fact, leave the Cavs
for a second time.