There is actual talks of LeBron James leaving Cleveland for his last chapter in the league. While nothing is set in stone at this point obviously, LeBron hasn’t made it clear that he is staying in The Land for the rest of his career, and the Cavaliers organization just made a questionable move in which displeased The King, as they fired GM David Griffin without consulting LeBron. The Cavaliers, even though just losing to the Golden State Warriors in 5 games in the championship series, are still one of the best teams in the league. LeBron James will be a free-agent in 2018, and while he is the highest paid player in the league, if Bron wants to go somewhere else, he will make it happen.
In this article, we will be looking at eight teams LeBron would want to join in 2018, and 8 teams that he would not want to start a new era with. There are a few teams that James could fit with to possibly add a few more championships in his quest to be the greatest, and there are definitely a few teams that seem to be headed nowhere, making them unattractive in the eyes of LeBron and other free-agents. Is LeBron in line for “The Decision 2?” If so, here are some teams he may want to join and some he would not.
Here are 8 teams LeBron would want to join in 2018 and 8 he wouldn’t.
16. Would: Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers are easily one of the most up and coming teams in the NBA, and while it may not be one of the most realistic landing spots for King James, it could be a legendary addition to something special in Philly. With prized young assets such as Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz, and Dario Saric, LeBron could still come in and be a high impact player, as the young talent around him continues to grow. As a Sixers fan, I have talked to my fellow Sixers brethren, and some have the nerve to say they wouldn’t even want LeBron to come in and ruin our organic process we have built. I completely disagree, and would love to see LeBron in red, white, and blue, as he would be in position to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy until he retires as the Sixers will be championship contenders for years.
15. Wouldn’t: Chicago Bulls
You will never see LeBron James suit up in an iconic Chicago Bulls uniform. With their recent trade of Jimmy Butler for a few young assets, it is clear that Chicago is ready to start their rebuild. It will be multiple seasons until the Bulls are a solid team in the league, and it is not a good landing spot for James, who is looking for wins right away. While he would be the star of the team and paired up with good friend Dwyane Wade, the Bulls will not be looking to bring in LeBron as they really are ready to begin a long rebuild which James would stall completely. While it would be awesome to see LeBron in a Bulls uniform repping the Windy City, James does not have his sights set on Chicago.
14. Would: Minnesota Timberwolves
Speaking of Jimmy Butler to headed to Minnesota, LeBron could be interesting in playing for the Timberwolves, creating the league’s new super team to compete with the likes of Golden State and their excellent stars. The Wolves would be incredible if LeBron joined them in 2018, as they would have him, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl-Anthony Towns. Trading for Jimmy Butler, the Wovles gave up some young assets in order to win now, so they would definitely be up to sign LeBron James in whatever way possible. LeBron to the Timberwovles would come completely out of nowhere, but Jimmy Butler’s trade there came out of nowhere as well, so anything is possible in the NBA.
13. Wouldn’t: Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are bursting at the seems with young and older talent, and both the organization and LeBron probably don’t have any mutual interest. Why wouldn’t the Celtics want The King? Well, they have some very intriguing young stars on their team such as Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and a few more assets along the way, (most likely 1st pick in 2018 due to Nets). They also have current stars such as Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford, and guys such as Gordon Hayward could be in line to sign with them this summer.
With possibly Hayward, Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum all being forwards that need to get their minutes, adding LeBron James to that would create a log jam. Having too many great players on a team could be troublesome, and both the Celtics and LeBron will most likely stay on their own path, never intertwining.
12. Would: Houston Rockets
Who wouldn’t love to see LeBron join the already dangerous Houston Rockets? Creating a dynamic trio with he, James Harden, and Chris Paul, the Rockets would instantly be championship contenders, if they aren’t already, as the current roster is just a piece away of being great in this league, and LeBron could be that guy. Along with LeBron, Paul, and Harden, the Rockets would have excellent offensive pieces such as Eric Gordon, who just won 6th Man of the Year and Ryan Anderson.
The Rockets would be a great team if LeBron decided he wanted to be the next great Houston Rocket, as his name would be added to the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon and James Harden. The Warriors wouldn’t have a cakewalk to the finals again, that’s for sure.
11. Wouldn’t: Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets have been the worst franchise in the league for a few seasons now, as they continue to feel the effects of their terrible trade with the Celtics a few years back. No players are dreaming of playing on the Nets right now, as they are lacking talent and don’t have the buzz around them like other teams do. LeBron has definitely zero interest in playing for the Brooklyn Nets, seeing they are the opposite of what he’s looking for, as they are not championship contenders, and won’t be for sometime, even if the best player in the world joins there ranks. The Nets could be a solid team in 10 years or so, but King James doesn’t have the time to wait, making them a team he would not want to play for.
10. Would: New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans could be an interesting destination for LeBron to join in 2018, as they are quietly one of the best teams in the league, even though they failed to make the playoffs after trading for DeMarcus Cousins last year. LeBron would likely only join if Cousins stuck around beyond 2018, but this would be a formidable big 3.
With Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins on the roster, the Pelicans have a dangerous front court, making it enticing to a guy like LeBron to come in and facilitate to a group of guys like that. LeBron, Davis, and Cousins, would be a great team, and New Orleans would be shot to the front of the league. New Orleans is also a very interesting free agent destination, as it really is a lively place to be, and LeBron could find the next chapter of his career to be very successful in New Orleans.
9. Wouldn’t: Miami Heat
LeBron’s time in Miami is over and he is not considering bringing his talents back to South Beach. While the Heat have bounced back since losing there big three, LeBron’s stay with the Heat is something in The King’s past, and the Heat aren’t necessarily a team ready to take in a superstar like LeBron. They have some nice players, including Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic, and Justice Winslow, but they don’t have any other superstar talents that would entice James to join forces with them. Miami is a great place to live during the NBA season and offseason, but James would be looking to join a team set up for success, and the Heat are currently in a rebuild and are not the best match for LeBron, even though they were just a few seasons ago.
8. Would: Oklahoma City Thunder
It would be a great story-line to see LeBron go into OKC and join forces with Russell Westbrook and go against Kevin Durant and the Warriors. Fans would love to see James head to the Thunder and give Russell a chance to beat out his now rival Kevin Durant and win a championship, and playing with Westbrook probably is something LeBron would be interested in. NBA defenses just simply wouldn’t be able to guard both Westbrook and LeBron, as they are both transcendent players who can do it all on the court. The Thunder deserve to win a championship, as they had Westbrook, Durant, and James Harden on the team at the same time, but things don’t always work out as planned. This would give OKC another chance, as Westbrook and LeBron would be a force capable of taking down Golden State.
7. Wouldn’t: Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are trending downward in the association, as they haven’t made it out of the second round with the team they have built to win a championship with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. Both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin opted out of their contract with the team, and the team just traded Chris Paul for assets.
The Undefeated’s Mike Wise, also came out with strong words recently saying LeBron as a Clipper is an impossibility.
“I got from a very good authority—a very good authority—that LeBron James will never be a Clipper,” Wise said. “I can’t tell you who, but I’m going to tell you it’s somebody that knows, and LeBron James will never be a Clipper. I don’t know if that’s because he remembers what the Clippers used to be, or he just doesn’t want to put his lot in there, or he thinks [owner] Steve Ballmer is just too animated on the sideline.”
6. Would: Los Angeles Lakers
The tides have turned in Los Angeles, as the Lakers is now going to be the top dog of the city, as they are ready to start winning games while the Clippers do the opposite. The Lakers have some great young players including Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson, and also added a great center in Brook Lopez as they traded D’Angelo Russell. Also going for them, is the fact that Paul George has made it clear he wants to be a Laker in a year from now, as he plans on signing with them once he is a free-agent. The Lakers are a perfect place for the next age of LeBron, and he could be in line to do some special things with the Lakers if he decides to pack his things and head to the Pacific.
5. Wouldn’t: Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have been the only team in the East to put up a real fight against the Cavaliers, making the two teams a bit of rivals in their quests to both make the championship. LeBron is good at beating the Raptors, not joining them, and he probably is not thinking about heading up north to join the Raptors. They have a great back court with DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, who just re-signed with the team, and the team is a few pieces away of being a real contender.
LeBron is that piece that would propel them into being contenders, but I seriously doubt he would ever play for the Toronto Raptors. It’s hard to believe LeBron would leave his hometown to play north of the border.
4. Would: San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio has been one of the most successful NBA franchises for the last two decades, and are still primed to be one of the best teams in the league for the time being. Kawhi Leonard has blossomed into easily one of the best players in the league, and the rest of the team knows their role and plays a beautiful brand of basketball. LeBron could be the facilitator San Antonio has been looking for, as the team has ran through Leonard a bit more than Gregg Popovich would like. The Spurs would without a doubt become more dangerous with Bron on the roster, and it would be an epic Western Conference showdown between the Spurs and the Warriors.
3. Wouldn’t: New York Knicks
Nobody really wants anything to do with the Knicks right now, but they finally parted ways with Phil Jackson, who was pretty much sabotaging the team, so the franchise is now moving on. They have a young superstar in the making in Kristapz Porzingis, but the rest of the team is lacking, and it looks as though the better players on the team including Carmelo and Derrick Rose, will be in new uniforms when next season comes around.
Seeing LeBron play for one of the biggest franchises in sports would be something to see, but The King knows better, and will definitely stay away from the New York Knicks if he decides to leave Cleveland. The only way LeBron would ever play for the Knicks at this point would be if he owned the team.
2. Would: Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland is LeBron’s hometown, and playing there for the rest of his career is something that is definitely on James’ mind. He already abandoned them once, but was welcomed back when he returned and he most likely won’t be forgiven if he decides to leave again. He did win them a championship however, and that was a huge burden to LeBron and fans of his are grateful he was able to get one in a league filled with excellent teams, and possibly the greatest team ever in Golden State.
LeBron most likely won’t be leaving Cleveland until he decides to call it quits from the league, as he has nothing left to prove in this league and joining another team could hurt his legacy more than just staying the course even if he doesn’t win another championship for The Land.
1. Wouldn’t: Golden State Warriors
Nope. Not a chance in the world LeBron has any ideas of joining the Warriors, who has beaten him twice in the last three years in the NBA Finals. Already one of, if not the greatest basketball team ever assembled, there would be no point, or feasibility, of LeBron joining the ranks of the Warriors. While the team would be virtually unstoppable, like 82-0 unstoppable, nobody would respect LeBron joining the Warriors. What’s on LeBron’s mind is how to beat the Warriors, not join them, and that’s what sets him apart from guys like Kevin Durant.
LeBron is ready to do whatever it takes to beat Golden State, and whether that be leaving Cleveland or not, LeBron will never join the Warriors to win championships.
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