In just a few more days from now, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James will be making his second big “decision,” and while it might not be as splashy as the first one, NBA fans from all over the world are looking forward to finding out whether James will exercise his $35 million option for the 2018-19 NBA season, or enter free agency. With the Los Angeles Lakers having long been mentioned as a potential destination for LeBron, one of his NBA contemporaries, who happens to play for another California team, believes that he will indeed be wearing the purple and gold in the coming NBA season.
Speaking to TMZ as he partied outside Los Angeles’ Nightingale Plaza nightclub, Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein answered a number of questions about his expectations for the 2018-19 NBA season. After commenting that there “ain’t no loyalty” in the NBA, and that it’s hard to predict what kind of trades will take place in the “crazy” NBA, Cauley-Stein talked about the chances of LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers, in the light of recent rumors that he enrolled his sons in L.A.-area schools for the upcoming school year.
“He’s coming here,” said Cauley-Stein, before joking to TMZ’s reporter that he deserves to be named MVP in the 2018-19 NBA season.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 25, 2018
While Willie Cauley-Stein seemed very sure that LeBron James will be taking his talents to Los Angeles and playing for the Lakers in 2018-19, James himself has yet to comment about his plans in the current offseason. But if he’ll be joining the Lakers in the coming season, he might not be headed there by himself, if recent rumors are to be believed. According to the Orange County Register, James is planning ahead for what could be his decision to enter free agency and “calling players on other teams he wants to play with.”
No specific player was mentioned, but the OC Register’s Mark Heisler speculated that Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, and Paul George might be among the players LeBron James has in mind for his “super-team.” Heisler also added that the Lakers are James’ “presumed favored destination,” and a top favorite to land his services, as they have two roster spots saved for maximum contracts and a number of “tradable prospects.” The latter possibly refers to recent draft products such as Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram who could be used as bait to acquire a veteran superstar via trade.