One of the greatest NBA players in history may be on his way out of Cleveland once again in 2018. Many fans may be confused as to why he would be on his way out of Cleveland in 2018, when he doesn’t become a free agent until the 2018-2019 season. However, LeBron does have a player option in his contract for the 2018-2019 season. He could decide to leave Cleveland, or stay and make $35.6 million for the year.
There have been many rumors going on that LeBron claims that this will be his last upcoming season with the Cavaliers. Frustration has built between LeBron and his front office, as well frustration with teammates. Just recently, LeBron split up from Kyrie Irving, a trade that sent Irving off to Boston in return for Isaiah Thomas and more.
LeBron has put his all into each playoff game for the past three years, but it just doesn’t seem that James has enough support around him to take down the Golden State Warriors. And with the problems that have been occurring with his teammates and front office, it seems more likely that this will be James’ last season in Ohio. With many reports stating that this will be LeBron’s final season, and the departure of Kyrie Irving, it truly seems that come the 2018-19 season, we will see LeBron wearing a new jersey.
15 Landing Spot: San Antonio Spurs
What better idea would it be for one of the greatest NBA franchises in history, to sign one of the best basketball players to ever play. This option may be one of the more unlikely to happen, but gives LeBron the best opportunity to beat the Golden State Warriors. A roster stacked with stars, could match up very well against the Warriors. Many may say that if Leonard played that whole series against the Warriors, there’s a good chance the Spurs would have defeated the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
If the Spurs can put together head coach Greg Popovich, Kawhi Leonard, Pau Gasol and LeBron James together, we may see another super team arise in the West. And with the assumption that Manu Ginobili will return for his 16th season, this team could be a serious competitor with LeBron joining forces. At this point in LeBron’s career, the only thing that matters are the rings. And if any team on this list can get him another ring, it’s a team that has defeated LeBron in the Finals.
14 No Chance: Charlotte Hornets
What a storyline that would be to see Michael Jordan in the front office of the team that LeBron James is playing for. There’s a couple reasons why the Charlotte Hornets have no chance at having LeBron come to the Carolinas. There is no supporting cast. The Hornets can offer LeBron as much money as they would like, but there isn’t enough talent in Charlotte to even compete to win the Eastern Conference Finals. Going to the Hornets would be a downgrade in LeBron’s career, taking him back to the times in Cleveland when he basically carried the team on his back to the 2007 NBA Finals.
LeBron is also compared to Jordan all the time. It seems the only thing that James is looking to do in his career, is to win more rings than Jordan to prove he is the best NBA player of all time. With Jordan as a chairman for the Hornets, Jordan would succeed as LeBron succeeds. Fans may even for some unusual reason, claim Jordan was the reason the Hornets would win a championship. You know, if LeBron ever even thought of coming to Charlotte.
13 Landing Spot: Miami Heat
What many may say was the peak of LeBron James’ career, was his time spent in Miami. After what was considered one of the most hated decisions in sports history, James won his first two NBA Finals rings in South Beach. LeBron may not want to ruin his legacy by bouncing from team to team, but heading back to a former home may keep his legacy as legendary as it is by returning to the place that gave him his first two titles.
After things didn’t seem to work out too well with Dwyane Wade and the Bulls, it seems that Wade will make his return back to Miami to finish his career there. Since Wade, James and Bosh haven’t been on the court, this Heat team is still a borderline playoff contender. With Hassan Whiteside at center, this team can truly bring back the magic it did with the Big Three. Watch out for a remarkable come back to Miami.
12 No Chance: Phoenix Suns
It doesn’t seem like this move would really benefit either party, which is why the Suns have absolutely no chance at signing LeBron. The Suns are building for the future, like many teams. The Suns are young and may be explosive and on their way to the playoffs in the future, but they aren’t quite there yet. The Suns may not even want to go after LeBron because of his inability to stick with a team for a long period of time.
This would be a very awkward choice for LeBron to sign, and doesn’t seem like somewhere he would want to be a part of. LeBron is a “win now” type of player, and cannot wait for the development of these young players. For both LeBron and the Suns, it would be better off they don’t even try to talk to each other about a possible contract.
11 Landing Spot: Oklahoma City Thunder
The first ever NBA Finals championship of James’ career came against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder have had their up and downs, but have continued to become one of the most dominant teams in the league. We just witnessed history after Russell Westbrook completed his MVP season, followed by the acquisition of Paul George. The Thunder are back and ready to make a run for a championship after losing Kevin Durant in free agency.
After losing Irving, LeBron is going to want to find a team with a star point guard. The Thunder give him that and more with both Westbrook and George to play with. The superstar team would match up great against the Warriors. This would also call for the perfect story where Westbrook gets his revenge of Durant, and LeBron beats the Warriors once again.
10 No Chance: Indiana Pacers
This option may have been somewhat likely if the Pacers didn’t trade away Paul George. Like many other teams, LeBron needs serious help to beat these Warriors, and the Pacers didn’t even have enough last season with George to win one game against LeBron. Indiana also puts James in a smaller area, where he’s unable to truly promote his brand with Nike. Similar to Kevin Durant, it would be expected that part of where LeBron would want to go would be a city where he can help build on his brand within Nike.
There are no real opportunities for James to succeed as a Pacer. With their struggles to perform at a high level with Paul George, the chances are that they won’t perform any better without him after his departure.
9 Landing Spot: New York Knicks
Miami was a beautiful location for LeBron to go, and have some friends tag along. New York is an even better location, and he already has a friend there. The Knicks were one of the choices for LeBron to go to when he made his decision to go to Miami back in 2010. With his good friend Carmelo Anthony there, as well as young stars Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr., James could help turn this franchise around. The great thing about New York, is that it is an ideal location for many sports players to want to play.
If LeBron were to make his way to the Big Apple, there’s a good chance he would bring some friends or teammates with him to make the Knicks into a competing team. With the front office being so disorganized and the issues with Phil Jackson, the Knicks have been all over the place. However, LeBron coming in could help straighten things out and have the Knicks become a threat to the league.
8 No Chance: Brooklyn Nets
Unlike the Knicks, the Nets really have nothing going for them besides being in New York. The Nets have made some questionable decisions to deteriorate their team, which would be a reason LeBron wouldn’t want to make his way into Brooklyn. James would be on his own to try and win a championship, with no major factors to help him win. Job stability for the Nets has been bad, and it doesn’t seem that LeBron would want to work with new players and coaches year after year.
This destination would be so poor for LeBron that he may not even answer the phone if the Nets try to call. The city of New York isn’t enough to help send LeBron in to Brooklyn. The Nets have no chance at bringing in the star player.
7 Landing Spot: Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers were one of those electrifying teams in the NBA that were so much fun to watch, but were never able to really get far in the playoffs. With the departure of Chris Paul this offseason, the Clippers may look for a big-name man to sign to this team, and LeBron James may be a great fit. The power forward and center position are set with Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan, but they need someone to help carry this team now that Paul is gone.
The Clippers help give LeBron that speed that his offense had in Miami, with some exceptional defense. Imagine watching James tossing up alley oops to Griffin all day. Many teams would be frightened to want to defend them. This may not be the best available choice in Los Angeles, but it’s a destination that James would consider.
6 No Chance: Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers fan base have been trying to “trust the process” for too long, and may want to start bugging management to go after some veterans. There’s no better way to build up a young team than having one of the best to play the game, lead the team. But, it seems that the Sixers are confident in what they have for the future, and may avoid giving James a bring contract. The Sixers may know that their time to win may not be now, but for the future. A signing of LeBron may not necessarily help them win a championship, but help get these younger players into the playoffs.
LeBron is also going to want experience around him. With the Sixers, LeBron is lucky if all his starters remain healthy. All the Sixers past few first round draft picks have had some issues with staying healthy. If the starters on this team can’t stay healthy, LeBron most definitely will not want to make his way there.
5 Landing Spot: Cleveland Cavaliers
This may not be the exciting destination on the list, but it’s one of the more likely. With LeBron having a player option during the 2018-2019 season, LeBron may stay and finish out his contract in Cleveland and possibly re-sign. We have heard that James stated that he will not come back, but he could always switch his mind about where he may head to. James may stay in Cleveland, but a few things would need to happen in order to keep LeBron in Cleveland.
LeBron would need more of a say in building his team. He has seen how certain transactions like with Kevin Love have been costly yet not help their team back it to a championship. There is a good chance that if LeBron did stay in Cleveland, he would do heavy recruiting trying to bring in players like Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. The Cavs would have to bring in these players for LeBron to win. Although the Cavs traded for Isaiah Thomas, James is going to want to get all the help he possible can to go up against the Golden State Warriors.
4 No Chance: Golden State Warriors
Unlike Kevin Durant, LeBron James won’t make the same mistake Durant did. James will not leave to go to the team he struggles to defeat, even if he wanted to. With the salary cap, the Warriors most likely wouldn’t be able to afford to sign James to a contract. If they were able to sign something for LeBron, it may not even clear. The commissioner of the NBA has rejected transactions from happening before, including one that was supposed to send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers. The NBA denied the transaction, which is something similar that would happen in a scenario like this.
Also, James wouldn’t want to hop on the bandwagon of the team he was unable to meet. No matter how much respect James has for Durant, we will never see them both wearing the same jerseys. It seems that the whole reason LeBron may leave Cleveland is to beat the Warriors, not to join them.
3 Landing Spot: Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets became even scarier this offseason with the acquisition of Chris Paul. Although it may not entirely help this team, it helps load this team up with more offensive weapons. Adding LeBron James to this duo, may lead this upcoming trio to become the best in the game. With many fans speculating that the Rockets may be on the rise this upcoming season, the addition of James would just add to that thought process.
For LeBron who is a pass first, shoot second type of player, he is surrounded by great weapons to shoot the ball. A problem James encountered in Cleveland during the playoffs was the inability for his supporting cast to help make the necessary shots to play against these playoff teams. The Houston Rockets help give LeBron the offensive weapons that he may need to beat the Warriors.
2 No Chance: Boston Celtics
What seemed to be a brotherhood in Cleveland, turned out to be a broken relationship. The Cavaliers traded away Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in return for Isaiah Thomas and more this offseason. The trade included the Celtics losing a lot, to gain Irving. Now, it would be awesome to see in the future Irving and James make a return to play with each other once again. And maybe if things work out between them once again, this may be a more likely decision in the future. But with things the way they are now, this is almost impossible.
Kyrie demanded a trade because he was sick of being James’ little brother. It seems that Irving wants to lead a team on his own and get the credit he deserves, so he decided to run his mouth until his time in Cleveland was complete. After all the Celtics gave up to get Kyrie, the last thing the Celtics are going to want to do is sign LeBron, causing an awkward situation for Kyrie.
1 Landing Spot: Los Angeles Lakers
What seems to be the most common and most likely landing spot for LeBron James after this upcoming season, would be in Los Angeles to play for the Lakers. It has been rumored everywhere that James would highly consider playing for the historical franchise. With the team growing up, and star sensation Lonzo Ball. It’s speculated that Ball and James will be teammates after this upcoming season in Los Angeles. The city is a perfect place where James can live by, and do his best to bring back a championship since the Kobe Bryant days.
Even with a young team, it seems that James will highly consider the opportunity to play basketball in Hollywood. The Lakers might be an easy location to recruit players from other teams to play alongside James. Even though the team may not be super stacked, Los Angeles is a great location and James is able to recruit the players he would like to take him back to another NBA Finals.