With the Cavaliers on the verge of being swept in the NBA Finals, rumors about LeBron James’ potential departure in Cleveland have started to heat up once again in the league. If James leaves his hometown team for the second time, three teams emerge as his top landing spots in the upcoming free agency. These include the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Philadelphia 76ers.
However, a former member of the Cavaliers believes LeBron James may also consider teaming up with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum in the Portland Trail Blazers. In an appearance on the Jalen and Jacoby show (h/t Lakers Nation), former Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson said that the Trail Blazers will explore the possibility of signing James in the upcoming offseason.
“Right now, I really think Portland is trying to do some things to move their entire roster. Obviously, LeBron has a connection to Oregon because of his relationship with Nike. Phil Knight being a really, really big LeBron fan, I think wants to get him up there. They could build a whole new campus up there. Portland has now entered into the unfounded, irresponsible speculation of free agency around LeBron.”
The explosive backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum helped the Trail Blazers finished at the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference last season. However, in the playoffs, they were easily eliminated by the Anthony Davis-led New Orleans Pelicans. The Trail Blazers, as currently constructed, are obviously not ready to fully dominate the deep Western Conference. If they want to be a true title contender next season, signing the best basketball player on the planet should be Portland’s top priority this summer.
LeBron James will surely love the idea of playing for the Trail Blazers. Unlike the Cavaliers, the Trail Blazers have Lillard and McCollum to ease the load on James’ shoulder, especially on the offensive ends of the floor. The “Big Three” of James, Lillard, and McCollum will surely be a headache to any team in the Western Conference, even to the Golden State Warriors or Houston.
However, according to Trevor Lane of Lakers Nation, Richard Jefferson’s suggestion should only be taken with a grain of salt. As of now, the Trail Blazers don’t have enough salary cap space to give LeBron James a maximum contract in the upcoming free agency. They may even have a hard time bringing their own incoming free agents back. If the Trail Blazers want James really bad, they may consider engaging Lillard or McCollum in a sign-and-trade deal with the Cavaliers for James. However, the decision is still on James’ hand whether he will consider playing in Portland or not.