The impending free agency of LeBron James is currently the hottest rumor in the league despite the fact that the second half of the season is just about to start. Multiple NBA teams have been linked to 33-year-old small forward, including the Golden State Warriors. Will James swallow his pride and join the Cleveland Cavaliers’ rival team?
Since returning to Cleveland, LeBron James and the Cavaliers have been on three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals facing the same opponent, the Warriors. In their first two faceoffs, the Cavaliers and the Warriors were evenly matched. The “Big Three” of James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love showed their capability to compete against Golden State’s “Death Lineup.”
Unfortunately, everything changed when Kevin Durant headed to Bay Area. The Warriors easily dismantled the Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals, and to make things more complicated in Cleveland, Irving demanded a trade. After struggling earlier in the 2017-18 NBA season, the Cavs made a huge roster overhaul that made them, once again, the top favorite to rule the Eastern Conference. However, beating the Warriors in a best-of-seven series is still a punch to the moon.
When the season is over, LeBron James will be needing to make a controversial decision regarding his future in the league. Multiple signs are pointing out that he will leave Cleveland for the second time and chase for more NBA championship titles with another team. For NBA legend Isiah Thomas, the Warriors should be James’ next destination.
“Now I would say, if I’m LeBron James, if I don’t stay in Cleveland– which I do think now with the moves that they’ve made that he probably stays in Cleveland– but I’m going– I’m going to say, if I’m him, I go to Golden State. I’d go and play with Kevin Durant. I’d try to get with Steph Curry because I’m looking at my age. And I’m just– I’m just talking as an athlete now, right?” Thomas said, via Fox Sports.
Thomas believes an aging superstar like LeBron James should now consider looking for a place where he could join and fit rather than joining a team where he’ll be the carrier. At 33, James is still posting incredible numbers every night, but no one can deny the fact that he is already on the downside of his career. Teaming up with Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry will make the job easier for James. It will also bring him closer to surpassing Michael Jordan.
In the past years, there is a growing debate on who is really the G.O.A.T. Statistics wise, there is only a short margin between the two best basketball players on the planet. James can expand the gap since he is expected to play more years in the NBA. However, according to Zach Kram of The Ringer, James should win more NBA championship titles than Jordan if he wants to capture the title as the G.O.A.T.
“Even after James won two rings in Miami, and even after he escaped a 3-1 series deficit to beat the best regular-season team in league history and bring a championship to Cleveland, he’s still just halfway to Jordan’s title total.”
If LeBron James is serious about surpassing Michael Jordan, he should follow Isiah Thomas’ advice and join the Warriors. However, the idea of bringing him to Bay Area won’t be easy since the Warriors will need to clear salary cap space to sign him. Also, it remains questionable if the Warriors are interested in adding him to their team.