The Golden State Warriors are one win away from defeating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. Based on the first three games, the Warriors are clearly the better team over the Cavaliers, and James needs to transform into a basketball god just to make the series exciting. With the Cavaliers’ failure to reclaim the title against the Warriors, multiple signs are pointing that James will leave Cleveland for the second time as a free agent.
In the past months, the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and the Philadelphia 76ers have emerged as potential landing spots for James, if he considers parting ways with his hometown team. Most of those teams can give James a strong pitch by revealing their plan to dethrone the Warriors. However, Ryan Glasspiegel of The Big Lead explained why joining the Lakers, Rockets, or Sixers may not give James another NBA title.
“The Sixers are a little weird because Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz can’t shoot and it would render Joel Embiid into the Chris Bosh/Kevin Love role as a spot-up shooter. Would he even want that? The Rockets are a little odd because there’s only one ball, which LeBron, James Harden, and Chris Paul all need all the time. The Lakers feel like they are a year away; LeBron plus Paul George would not be enough to propel them past the Warriors.”
15 years ago the Cavs drafted LeBron James. They'll likely end up with just one title. Add "The Incompetence" to Cleveland sports failures. https://t.co/l3WqDSDc66
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) June 7, 2018
Winning is expected to be the main priority of LeBron James in the upcoming free agency. As Glasspiegel noted, the only way James could beat the Warriors is to team up with another superstar who’s about to become an unrestricted free agent this summer: Kevin Durant. Like James, Durant is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract and hit the free agent market in July.
Though he already expressed his desire to stay in Golden State, Durant told Sam Amick of USA Today that anything can happen in free agency. Glasspiegel believes James has the power to convince Durant to leave the Warriors by saying how underappreciated he was in Bay Area playing alongside Stephen Curry. James could tell Durant the only way to silence his haters is to defeat the Warriors.
Several NBA teams, who have enough salary cap space to sign two maximum-salaried players, would surely love the idea of having Kevin Durant and LeBron James on their team. The departure of Durant will be a huge loss for the Warriors, but there is a possibility that Golden State will immediately find his replacement in the free agent market. Seeing James and Durant play together on one team is undeniably something fans would want to see, but there is only a little chance for it to happen this summer.