The biggest question following the Warriors’ finals sweep has nothing to do with the Golden State Warriors. If you haven’t noticed, the question everyone wants answered is, Where will LeBron James play next season? Is there a chance he stays with Cleveland? Will he be suiting up for a different team? for anyone dying to know the answers to these questions, you have come to the right place. Without further adieu, LeBron’s next decision.
The first thing on James’ list is playing for a team that will contend for a title. After the Cavaliers game four loss James can be quoted saying “I still want to be in championship mode.” With that being said, we can begin to cross off some of almost half the field of teams in the NBA. Any team that didn’t make the playoffs or Will not compete for a championship even with LeBron James can be eliminated from the sweepstakes.
Teams eliminated: Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers
Teams remaining: Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trailblazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers
Next thing on LeBron’s list would be playing in a big market city. This is important to King James because he has a lot of business ventures, he is a growing entertainment influence, and has a desire to play under the bright lights. We can’t forget LeBron is Nike’s cover athlete, and having the face of their franchise in a big market is a huge advantage to the company. As we check another box on LeBron’s checklist we can eliminate a few more teams from the sweepstakes.
Teams eliminated: Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trailblazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves
Teams remaining: Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers
The one thing LeBron has mentioned throughout the playoffs is playing with “cerebral players”, and outsmarting the opponent. For someone who knows basketball you can clearly see the Cavaliers lost the mental battle in the finals. It was a very rare sight to see the Cavaliers fool the Warriors, and when they did it didn’t last long. Therefore, I don’t see LeBron putting himself in a situation where his team is being outsmarted again. We can eliminate a few more teams based on the players and coaches on the teams. For now Cleveland will stay in because family is a huge factor to LeBron.
Teams eliminated: Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Miami Heat
Teams remaining: Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers
There are a couple teams left that it is very unlikely for LeBron to end up on due to a couple different factors. Whether it be lack of interest from the teams, not getting along with players on the team, or ruining his legacy/basketball image. For the factors previously mentioned, we will see some more teams being eliminated from the sweepstakes.
Teams eliminated: Boston Celtics (the Kyrie situation), Golden State Warriors (the legacy tarnisher), Houston Rockets (reports say they wont pursue & salary cap implications)
Teams remaining: Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers
With the final Four teams left in the LeBron sweepstakes, each presents upsides and downsides. It is time to factor in the most important things to James, his family. As LeBron has said, his sons are a lot older than the last time he made a decision. LeBron Jr., James’ oldest son will soon be in high school, and his other son, Bryce, isn’t that far behind him. LeBron also has a daughter now, Zhuri, and his wife Savannah to think about. King James has also voiced his opinion, that he would like to get the opportunity to play with his oldest son in the NBA. LeBron’s next decision will not only impact his family in the immediate future, but also the long term future as well. James has always been a great father and husband, and whatever move he makes this summer he will continue to do so.
Teams eliminated: Philadelphia 76ers & San Antonio Spurs
Teams remaining: Cleveland Cavaliers & Los Angeles Lakers
If LeBron chooses the Cavaliers: LeBron James will not be in Cleveland next year unless Dan Gilbert and Koby Altman get aggressive and make huge changes to their current roster. For anyone who watched a Cavs game, or for that matter even watched a finals game could see LeBron shouldered more than ever before in his career. If LeBron is truly serious about playing beside his oldest son someday the situation in Cleveland needs to get better, or he may not make it there. The Cavs need to make a trade for a solid, consistent player. An impact player. Someone to take some of the weight of LeBron’s shoulders. If LeBron leaves Cleveland this time, quite frankly I don’t blame him
If LeBron Chooses the Lakers: First and foremost, LeBron would more likely than not have his choice of star to join the Lakers with him. that alone makes this a more intriguing option than Cleveland. To put a cherry on top, the Lakers have the assets to make a trade for at least one more solid player to form their own version of a big three. Some names of some players that could join LeBron on the Lakers are Paul George, Demarcus Cousins, Kawhi Leonard, and maybe even Russell Westbrook. This team is already starting to sound like a hell of a team. Now throw in some of the talented youth the Lakers have, and it really starts to seem as if this team has a shot to take on the Warriors. Also, don’t forget Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, someone LeBron has looked up to throughout his career, has taken the reigns of the Lakers organization. This could come up huge in persuading LeBron to join the Lakers. Aside from basketball, LeBron owns two houses in LA, and is becoming a growing entertainment presence. What better place than LA for entertainment? This move may come with some growing pains at first, but could pay dividends in the long run. If LeBron and his family decided to make this move, it might be the smoothest transition as they already have spent a lot of time in LA, and have two houses there. The time and opportunity is right for LeBron to take his talents to Los Angeles.
Teams eliminated: Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron’s next destination: Los Angeles Lakers
The Opportunities in LA seem as if they are endless for LeBron and his Family. LeBron has a chance to hit the reset button with a new team, and compete for a championship right away. He can team up with at least one more superstar, and maybe even two. LeBron also has his business ventures, and his growing entertainment presence with him in LA. His wife, Savannah, also has business ventures which she can manage, as well as have the opportunity of growth in the business industry in LA. His sons LeBron Jr. and Bryce will have the opportunity to play in a growing hotbed of talent in LA, and for Zhuri, James’ daughter, I guess we will see what the future holds for her in LA. LA is ready to welcome the James family with open arms. Good news LA, LeBron is coming!