In this modern NBA era it’s common for superstars to change teams, create power shifts and unexpected ‘big 3s.’ Anything is possible. LeBron James is among marquee players who will be a 2018 free agent, becoming the most dangerous free agent in the league.
And with that comes all of the speculation over whether or not he again will leave the Cleveland Cavaliers. James has been a free agent four times in his illustrious 15-year career and with two of those instances came shocking news.
LeBron is no stranger to creating power shifts, to changing teams unexpectedly or to doing what’s best for his career. He’s creating a legacy both for himself and his family. He’s referenced chasing Michael Jordan’s six championship rings on several occasions.
James is locked in on creating more accolades to add to his obvious Hall-of-Fame status. But those six rings are the only benchmark he’s focused on chasing right now.
Many seem convinced LeBron is lending serious consideration to signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. Granted, there have been some circumstances that have fed into that notion.
LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, has been seen sitting with Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss at multiple games. Though, Paul also represents current Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Beyond that, LeBron watched the Lakers play in a Las Vegas Summer League game, has reportedly toured private schools in Los Angeles with his wife, and recently completed the purchase of a second home in the area.
Then there was James wishing Lonzo Ball a happy birthday on Twitter, referring to him as “young king,” and their private-turned-public conversation at halfcourt after the Lakers and Cavs played.
LeBron will be 33 years old soon. His years in the NBA are numbered. Every single season is vital to chasing Jordan’s six rings. It all depends on how this season ends for the Cavaliers.
If they make it to the Eastern Conference finals and have a potential top lottery pick as a result, then it’s difficult to foresee LeBron signing elsewhere. But if the Cavaliers lose, LeBron is a businessman and a calculated basketball mind.
He will absolutely entertain the idea of bolting in free agency. But the Lakers? That’s a reach. The Lakers are too young of a team right now. Unless something unorthodox happens in the offseason and the Lakers sign Paul George or some other available star, they are too much of a building process for James at this time in his career.
LeBron is going to go wherever will create the best chance at winning championship(s). Thus, he might be more likely to sign with the Houston Rockets and join forces with James Harden and Chris Paul. Harden is having a potentially MVP worthy season.
The Rockets are playing well but not great. Houston is completely locked and loaded to win a championship but they’ve been falling short the past couple of seasons. With someone like James in the fold, that type of three-headed monster can push them over the hump.
The Rockets are a much easier path to a championship than the Lakers would be. But, what about all of that evidence linking LeBron to Los Angeles?
That could very well be LeBron setting himself up for the future. He’s creating the possibility of riding off into the sunset in L.A., in a front office capacity with the Lakers organization.. Let’s look at this objectively.
Referring to someone as ‘Young King’ implies the rise of the next generation, the passing of the crown. It might not be the way someone of LeBron’s stature would acknowledge a rookie and potential teammate.
LeBron’s creating space right now, so to speak. He’s building opportunities and preparing a future regardless of the outcome of the season. Anything is possible.
And though it might not come as a player, LeBron James ultimately being involved in the Lakers organization in any way would be a win.
WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERS NATION FORUM CLUB