Those NBA rumors that LeBron James will join the Philadelphia 76ers next season are strong, according to one of the league’s former All-Stars. While most fans or analysts believe LeBron will stay in Cleveland, head to Los Angeles, or join Houston, there’s another contender for winning over LeBron in free agency. The Portland Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum recently weighed in on the idea of LeBron suiting up as a member of the 76ers alongside their young stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Here’s the latest on what McCollum had to say with regards to “King James” and him leaving Cleveland to play out his career in Philadelphia.
On Wednesday, Slam Online’s Ryne Nelson reported on the latest comments that Portland’s CJ McCollum made regarding the upcoming LeBron James free agency situation. The former NBA All-Star has started a brand new podcast show called Pull up with CJ McCollum. The first episode has already featured the big topic that has been discussed amongst NBA fans and by analysts or journalists for months now: Where will LeBron James end up playing next season? Based on CJ McCollum’s comments, he thinks the Philadelphia 76ers have a pretty good shot to land the NBA superstar.
McCollum had this to say about the situation on his recent podcast.
“He’s always calculated about his decision-making process going back to his youth. Ben [Simmons] is his young guy. Ben is a member of Klutch Sports, so that also could play a factor. Philly is in the Eastern Conference. LeBron has been fond of the Eastern Conference throughout his career on what seems to be his EZ-Pass to the Finals. I think it’s a bigger possibility than people think.”
The Philadelphia 76ers have been mentioned as one of the possible teams that LeBron James has a chance of signing with if Cleveland allows him to become a free agent at the end of the season. The other teams that have been given stronger chances ahead of Philly are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Lakers.
For a long time, the talk of LeBron James being lured to play in Los Angeles was strong, based on the fact they were building a new look for their franchise with young stars like Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. There was speculation that L.A. would try to add not only James but also the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George this coming summer, as they will clear up cap space to make the big moves.
The Houston Rockets already have shown they have a winning formula. The team added Chris Paul via a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers for this season, and the pairing of “CP3” with James Harden has done wonders. The team owns the best overall record in the league and will have homecourt advantage through the Western Conference side of the playoffs. It still remains to be seen if they’ll be able to take down the Golden State Warriors, though. Having LeBron would allow them more opportunity to do that.
As far as LeBron’s current team goes, the Cavs have been a work in progress after rebooting their roster about halfway through the season. Even though most analysts peg them as the NBA’s Eastern Conference champions these coming playoffs, there has been plenty of doubt placed on that notion due to Cleveland’s injury and chemistry issues. However, whenever a roster has “King James” on board, they continue to be a persistent threat to make a serious run in the postseason.
However, McCollum’s points make plenty of sense, as LeBron would be a mentor and major help in terms of possibly taking an emerging contender Philly past the Warriors or Rockets in the Finals. The 76ers are already showing that they are among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Some analysts were unsure if they would even qualify for the postseason this year, but that goal has been reached by the 76ers. With Markelle Fultz recently back on the court, and the combo of Simmons and Embiid, this team could be even more of a serious threat if LeBron James joined their cause. If Philadelphia somehow eclipses Cleveland in terms of their playoff success this coming postseason, that could also be a major influence on James’ decision.
So will it be Cleveland, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, or somewhere completely different? Several months from now, fans will finally know where LeBron James might end up finishing his legendary basketball career, but there’s no doubt that the “City of Brotherly Love” would welcome the King with open arms.