With the 2018 NBA free agency period just a few months away, folks are already beginning the guessing games on where many players will end up. One of the main topics of discussion is LeBron James. Where will LeBron James play in 2018? Will it be with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, or the new sleeper team, Philadelphia 76ers? Well, according to Nick Wright of Fox Sports, LeBron could end up with the Sixers if Joel Embiid can stay healthy.
Wright would go on to say that the only way LeBron would stay in Cleveland is if they win the NBA championship this season. Wright believes that a seven-game series, if the Cavaliers lose, may make LeBron sign a one-year deal to stay with the Cavaliers. But anything short of that, and LeBron is gone.
Another team Wright believes can emerge in the LeBron 2018 sweepstakes will be the San Antonio Spurs. What’s ideal about this situation is the unknown of Kawhi Leonard. However, there is a mutual respect between LeBron and Gregg Popovich already in place. What LeBron may have to think strongly about is, who will be left on the Spurs that will give him a better chance to win than any other team?
The Los Angels Lakers are always up for discussion, but as Wright points out, they’re not close to being contenders. There is also the possibility of LeBron heading to Houston to play with James Harden and his close friend Chris Paul. While the Rockets would be heavy favorites if LeBron does sign, he must also take into account that he’s getting older and so is Paul. What may also force LeBron to look at the Sixers harder is that Paul has been known to hit the IR when teams need him the most.
“Because Houston is obviously far better than Philly, but Chris Paul is in year 13, he’s had a checkered injury history already, and the history, NBA history of small guards excelling past year ’14, ’15, it’s really John Stockton and that’s it. So there’s that, and then there’s Embiid, who’s played almost the same number of minutes in his career as Lebron’s played this year.”
Wright would go on to say that the Sixers, with their young nucleus, are major players only if Embiid can stay on the floor.
What makes the Sixers so interesting is their age and nucleus. Ben Simmons, in just his rookie year, is close to averaging a triple-double on the season. Embiid, finally healthy this year, is possibly the best center in the NBA. Once you add the role players they have and the City of Brotherly Love becomes a hot destination for a player like LeBron James.
LeBron to the Sixers may all depend on the health of Embiid. That’s understandable as Embiid has only played 31 games prior to this season but he appears to be pretty healthy so far. If Embiid can make it through this year with no setbacks and the Sixers make it to the playoffs, there’s a possibility, according to Nick Wright, they could land LeBron.