L.A. Lakers rumors suggest LeBron James could head west and spurn the Cleveland Cavaliers (again). These Lakers rumors come from NBA analyst Kevin O’Conner, who states that he has multiple league sources corroborating this story. A report he posted on Thursday (June 8) states that both the L.A. Lakers and L.A. Clippers are “viable destinations” for LeBron James.
Why Would LeBron James Want To Play For The L.A. Lakers?
One piece of information worth mentioning is that James owns a house that is 30 minutes away from Staples Center. While this is definitely circumstantial evidence, it does show that James would be comfortable living in California. He also has a friend in All-Star point guard Chris Paul, who may remain with the L.A. Clippers, giving James another reason to head to warmer weather the first chance he gets. It’s also possible that the duo could convince fellow friend Carmelo Anthony to join them on one of the Los Angeles teams.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, there is already chaos brewing within the Cleveland Cavaliers as the team is just one game from getting swept out of the NBA Finals by the Golden State Warriors. Someone is going to take the brunt of the criticism for the Cavs coming up short, and the early victim is power forward Kevin Love. Despite putting up great numbers for the Cavs this postseason, trade rumors have already surfaced about the big man. Could that lead to more friction within the team that convinces James it is time to look at Los Angeles?
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 8, 2017
An Additional Lure Within The L.A. Lakers Rumors
Going back to the L.A. Lakers rumors, Hall of Fame point guard Magic Johnson has a lot of pull with the organization now, possibly putting him in a position to help lure LeBron James to California. It would be considered tampering if he flat out talks to James about leaving the Cavs to go to the Lakers, but back-channels have been used in situations like this one before. Having Magic in an important position with the organization could also be a lure because players like James might enjoy having a proven winner in an important role with the franchise.
The Cavs still have at least one more year of team control on the LeBron James contract, as he will make roughly $33.3 million during the 2017-18 NBA season. He then has a player option that he can use to get out of the final year of the contract and again look into his options in free agency. This is when James could openly decide to sign with the Lakers or Clippers or convince the Cavs to work out another sign-and-trade deal. The latter option is how he managed to wind up with the Miami Heat and friends Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
— Complex Style (@ComplexStyle) June 8, 2017
Is A LeBron James Move To The L.A. Lakers A Likely Scenario?
For LeBron James to go to the L.A. Lakers or L.A. Clippers, a lot would have to take place around the league. Those teams would first have to leave enough money available on the payroll to sign someone to a max contract in free agency. The Lakers and Clippers are both on a precipice, with the upcoming NBA offseason possibly leading to a lot of money getting spent. The Clippers have to deal with pending free agents Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, while the Lakers are trying to acquire a player like Paul George or Jimmy Butler, who come with their own large salaries.
There are ways to work around having too many max contracts on the payroll, but it would be extremely difficult to add a player like James if the Clippers or Lakers were to run out of money. If the Cleveland Cavaliers seriously indulge trade offers, it’s possible that movement could progress more quickly. None of these L.A. Lakers rumors mean anything, though, if it turns out that LeBron James is ready to remain with the Cavs permanently and continue chasing after another NBA title with the players he currently calls teammates.
[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]