Catch 23: Ranking LeBron James’ 30 Potential Landing Spots in the 2018 Offseason
The 2018 offseason is just a few months away and the biggest storyline this summer will be the destination of a certain number 23. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently fighting for their playoff lives in their second-round playoff match-up with the Toronto Raptors. The possibility that James will have his earliest playoff exit since 2010 is at the back of Cavs fans’ minds.
If the Chosen One fails to reach the NBA Finals this year, the possibility that he’ll bolt The Land becomes more probable. If anything can increase James’ desire to stay in Cleveland, it’s either a championship or at least the opportunity to play in the Finals once again.
Regardless of what happens in the playoffs, NBA fans are eagerly awaiting the drama that will unfold once James expectedly opts out of his current deal and becomes a free agent in July.
If each of the league’s 30 teams could make a pitch for James, what are the chances he’ll consider them?
Here’s a look at each of the NBA’s teams as we rank LeBron’s potential landing spots in the offseason. This assumes that all of them will make room for James in order to get under the salary cap, similar to what the Miami Heat did to sign him, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh in 2010, as well as the firesale that Jerry West pulled off to acquire both Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in 1996.
After all, if a GM can get James on his team, wouldn’t they give up almost every player on their roster to make it happen?
This is all in good fun, but don’t be surprised to see more than a handful of teams make a run at King James.
Long Shots – Non-Playoff Teams
30. Sacramento Kings
The Kings have a lot of question marks heading into the offseason with a team that’s one of the worst in the NBA and without a true building block from the current players under contract. De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Zach Randolph, and a 2018 NBA Draft pick don’t actually scream championship contender.
The Kings are rebuilding and James isn’t interested in spending his remaining years in the league on a project.
The Grizzlies are one of the many teams that will be on the outside looking in during the LeBron sweepstakes. Their cornerstone center, Marc Gasol, is on the downside of his career and Mike Conley isn’t going to justify that huge contract next season.
Despite having a good shot at the number one pick in the draft, the Grizzlies weren’t close to sniffing the playoffs this year, and James isn’t coming anywhere near Memphis, either.