The latest rumors swirling around the NBA reveal that Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James has narrowed down his potential free agency destinations to four teams. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, these include the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Knowing his relationship with Coach Gregg Popovich, there is an ongoing debate why James didn’t include the San Antonio Spurs on his list.
LeBron James will once again make a controversial decision this summer. The 2017-18 NBA season could be the final season he’s wearing the wine and gold, and multiple signs are pointing out that he’ll leave Cleveland for the second time. One of the teams frequently linked to James is the San Antonio Spurs.
Unfortunately, O’Connor’s recent report revealed that “King James” is not looking forward to playing with Popovich’s squad, especially with Kawhi Leonard. According to Bobby Burack of The Big Lead, this could be a major hint regarding the worsening relationship between the Spurs and Leonard.
“LeBron is notorious for communicating with the leagues’ top players, and with reports that he will not consider the Spurs, it could be a clear indication that LeBron either knows Leonard is not there for the long haul or LeBron feels – like Leonard – the Spurs have handled matters poorly.”
As most people think, LeBron James will sign with a team where he has a higher chance of winning multiple NBA championship titles. With the emergence of multiple “super teams,” James will be needing to team up with a superstar or two to dominate in the league. If Leonard won’t be signing an extension, or worse, will demand a trade this summer, there is no reason for James to join the Spurs, even if it will give him the opportunity to play under one of the best coaches in the NBA.
Also, the Spurs don’t have enough salary cap space or assets to make a blockbuster deal. The four teams mentioned by O’Connor have something attractive to offer to James. The Rockets, who currently sit in the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference, have James Harden and Chris Paul, a member of James’ infamous Banana Boat Crew. The Sixers have Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, who has been aggressively recruiting the Cavaliers superstar to Philadelphia.
The potential acquisition of Paul George is expected to help the Lakers pursue James, while reclaiming the title or at least entering the 2018 NBA Finals may convince “The King” to stay in Cleveland. Before talking about other superstars, the Spurs should first address the ongoing issue in their own backyard. After missing most part of the 2017-18 NBA season due to injury, Kawhi Leonard is expected to return to the court soon and help the Spurs secure a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference.