LeBron James signing with Lakers would be most boring end to his free agency saga

LeBron James signing with Lakers would be most boring end to his free agency saga

It makes the most sense for LeBron James to join the Lakers next season. That’s a shame, because LeBron signing with LA would be an anticlimactic end to the NBA’s hottest summer saga. 

Most importantly, the Lakers would be able to hand over their entire operation to James. He would be the alpha man and instantly take control of the team. But that doesn’t mean LeBron would be forced to do it alone. The Lakers have enough cap space to sign an additional star to run with James, such as Paul George. Plus, top draft picks Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram would presumably still be around, too. It’s the best of both worlds. 

On top of that, LeBron already owns an estate in Brentwood. Gary Payton says James’ kids are already enrolled in Los Angeles-area schools. This seems like a done deal. No fun at all. 

It may seem strange to undersell the idea of the most iconic and best basketball player of his generation signing with Lakers. We’re talking about LA, baby. The purple and gold; the glitz and glamour; the Lake Show. 

But this isn’t 1997. As LeBron has shown, players don’t need to play in Los Angeles, New York or Chicago to achieve superstardom. Yes, living in Los Angeles full-time would intrinsically create more networking opportunities for James, because it’s the epicenter of the entertainment world. But LeBron already rakes in $52 million annually in endorsements, according to Forbes. He has nearly 42 million followers on Twitter. It’s hard to see how his visibility could get any bigger.

LeBron signing with the Lakers and building his own team would be similar to his move to South Beach. We’ve seen it before. The Lakers’ cache isn’t enough to make up the difference. 

It would be far more interesting for James to do something that he’s never done before: sign with a team that already has its own championship nucleus in place. The Warriors, Celtics and Rockets fit that description. 

It seems beyond far-fetched for James to sign with the Warriors, but that’s what everybody said about Kevin Durant joining the stacked Golden State squad. LeBron would have to sacrifice money, and the NBA would probably sacrifice any semblance of competitive balance. But for at least one year, it would be damn cool to watch Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, James, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green play together. It would be a video game come to life. 

The Celtics, as we know, would have to dump at least one max salary player in a sign-and-trade in order to land James. Given LeBron’s acrimonious history with Kyrie Irving, Uncle Drew would be the favorite to get shipped out. That means James would be able to control the ball, as he desires. But he wouldn’t be presented with a blank slate, unless Brad Stevens changes his entire operation. 

While the Rockets appear to be on the back burner –– LeBron reportedly hates Houston –– count me in for watching the Chris Paul-James Harden-LeBron threesome try to make things work. At the least, the Warriors would have an equal challenger.

According to Vegas, there’s a high possibility James signs with the Sixers, who would conceivably also let him control the ball. But watching LeBron play with a dominant center like Joel Embiid would be something new, especially in today’s day and age. Unfortunately, Ben Simmons would likely spend most of his time just standing on the perimeter, but every option has draw backs.

There’s also always the option of LeBron staying in Cleveland, no matter how unlikely that appears. But since this could be LeBron’s last big contract, that means there’s a strong chance he would finish his career with the home town Cavs, the franchise that he’s resurrected twice. That’s pretty cool. 

LeBron signing with the Lakers, meanwhile, is just cliche. 

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Source: GreenStreet Blog

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