The 2017-18 NBA season is far from over but talks about LeBron James’ decision in the upcoming free agency continues to be the hottest topic in the league. Since the last offseason, multiple crazy rumors are surfacing, including the possibility of James joining the Cleveland Cavaliers’ rivals, Golden State Warriors. In early February, Chris Haynes of ESPN revealed that the 33-year-old superstar would consider meeting the reigning NBA champions if they manage to create a max salary slot this summer.
The idea of LeBron James playing alongside Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant would be a nightmare for every opposing team. However, for John Tomase of WEEI Sports Radio Network, joining the Warriors “would signal his surrender.” Since returning to Cleveland in 2014, James faced the Warriors in the NBA Finals for three consecutive years.
The Cavaliers and the Warriors were evenly matched in their first two faceoffs, but everything changed when Durant swallowed his pride and headed to Bay Area. If LeBron James will follow the “if you can’t beat them, join them” mantra like Durant, it only means that he no longer believes the Cavaliers can beat the Warriors. Teaming up with Curry and KD will undeniably help him match or surpass Michael Jordan’s number of NBA championship titles, but it will also put a stain on his legacy.
So far, LeBron James denied the reports about potentially joining the Warriors, calling it “nonsense.” Golden State isn’t also on the rumored list of James’ preferred destinations in free agency, which include the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Cavaliers. The Lakers put themselves in a strong position to sign James together with another superstar by creating enough salary cap space for two maximum-salaried players.
The Rockets, who currently have the best record in the league, have Chris Paul and James Harden, while the rising Sixers can boast the young and talented Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. For the Cavaliers to convince LeBron to stay, they will be needing to at least make it once again to the NBA Finals and make a huge upgrade to their roster in the upcoming offseason.
As of now, LeBron James remains focused on the ongoing 2017-18 NBA season and said that he will only talk about his free agency decision when the season is over. Expect rumors to circulate until James signs a new contract with the Cavaliers or another team.