“Where is LeBron James going?” has become an annual trend during NBA free agency. The NBA’s best player has put free agency on hold for several teams each summer, however, this summer must be different. LeBron James must become decisive with his intentions and where he wants to play next.
Thus far, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Philadelphia Sixers are all in the running for LeBron James. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Sixers are the first team to meet with him. The Sixers have the structure in place to get LeBron James, but their current roster does not represent a good fit.
According to Bleacher Report, the Sixers believe in their sales pitch. If it is an exceptional one, the Sixers have a good chance at signing LeBron James. Philadelphia can afford to wait out James’ process as they may look to trade away a couple of players to sign James.
LeBron James’ meeting with the Sixers will likely be followed by the Lakers. The Lakers appear to be the favorites to sign James as long as they can secure an agreement to add another star player. The Lakers are searching for another star to add but to no avail. An ultimatum must be set to push things along.
If LeBron James wants to play for the Lakers he should make his decision quickly, regardless of who may or may not join him there. LeBron James must be the first domino to fall for the Lakers.
It is imperative for LeBron James to show his commitment to an NBA team. Some observers are beginning to give him the label of “ring-chaser.” All of the NBA free agency rumors regarding James wanting to be joined with other star players support those assertions.
There is a feeling going around that everything has to be ideal for LeBron James. As great of a player as he is, it has been quite some time since James has fully elevated the talent around him, or played on a younger team.
Consider the following example: If the Los Angeles Lakers cannot add another star player for LeBron James to play with, he will be less inclined to play there. Surrounding James with young and developing players such as Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram would suggest that the cupboard is bare. As their games progress, Ball and Ingram become more attractive as trade bait later on down the line.
Money is so tight that free agents and teams aren't waiting on LeBron James as we've seen in the past. Teams have a finite amount of cash to splash and free agents are grabbing it. Quickly
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 1, 2018
LeBron James making the commitment to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, a much more attractive NBA destination than the Cleveland Cavaliers, would be a boon for other players. However, staying in Cleveland or joining the Sixers gives James the best chance at winning an NBA championship.
The Golden State Warriors are set up as a roadblock in the Western Conference. It does not matter how many stars the Lakers add. If LeBron James can be content with life in Los Angeles and the growing pains of his teammates, next season may be a different story.
LeBron James must be resigned to the fact that he has to be a building block if he wants to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. James cannot be the cherry on top. It is a huge commitment that LeBron James has to make which would go a long way in how he is viewed going forward.
If LeBron James wants to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, he must be the Lakers first big move.