LeBron James is about to make a major decision this coming summer – again. With his current deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers set to expire, the King could soon be a former Cav for the second time in his NBA career. LeBron may leave Cleveland for another team, but it won’t be as painful for Cavaliers fans as it was when he packed his bags for South Beach in 2010. LeBron delivered the title he promised he’d win them after all, so he should be free to go wherever he likes without nearly as much backlash.
Speculations of where LeBron will take his talents next have been fueling the rumor mills nonstop for quite some time now, and there are only a few off-the-court topics that can provoke more intense discussions than trying to draw the four-time MVP’s path.
A move to Los Angeles or to Philadelphia, or staying put with Cleveland’s own, are the top three narratives for LeBron’s summer. But, is it guaranteed that one of this trio will play out? Until then, no one is certain what LeBron will do next. For all we know, LeBron is just out there stirring whatever pot of intrigue he can to feed scoop-hungry reporters, who all have ready-made theories that connect the minutiae of his life to his next career chapter.
“So LeBron commented on Ben Simmons’ latest IG post? He’ll definitely go to Philly.”
“Oh wait, did LeBron just buy a house in Los Angeles? Bet the farm. He’s coming to La La Land.”
James has surprised us before when he chose to suit up for the Miami Heat. He can shock us all again, and the following are some of the most mind-blowing options he could possibly take.
7. Play for the Golden State Warriors – on a veteran’s minimum
Remember when all hell broke loose on Twitter when Kevin Durant jumped ship to Oakland just months after the Warriors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals? LeBron going to the Warriors would not just send Twitter engineers into panic attacks; it would shut the medium down for good.
To also say that LeBron would sign with the Warriors on a veteran’s minimum just to sneak into the Warriors’ loaded salary cap situation is as hilarious as it is dumb. Unless it is to represent planet Earth in some form of interplanetary basketball tournament, don’t expect James to join forces with Kevin Durant and company. It would completely poison LeBron’s legacy.
6. Team up with Kyrie Irving again by signing with the Boston Celtics
LeBron and Kyrie used to be Batman and Robin in Cleveland until Robin decided he had enough. Imagine Kyrie being a second banana again to the same player he lobbied hard to get away from. It’d be bananas.
Okay, enough with the fruit. The point is, LeBron playing for Boston would make a lot of people feel incredibly uncomfortable. Celtics fans might not stomach the reality that one of their team’s biggest rivals in history is donning Boston colors while playing on their parquet floor.
It’s also a surefire way to alienate Irving, who landed in Boston dreaming of becoming the man. In Boston, however, LeBron would find himself playing for a respected organization with a dynamic front office who always delivers fresh talent around him.
5. Make LeBronto a reality by joining forces with the Raptors
LeBron has done more damage to Toronto’s sports ego than Vince Carter has to basketball rims in his entire career. LeBron has seemingly made it his personal mission to go full Dino Crisis in Toronto every postseason.
Just in the past two playoffs, LeBron and his Cavs have gone 8-0 against them. The Raps weren’t supposed to lose in the manner they did in these playoffs to Cleveland, but they did because that’s apparently how they have been programmed.
Beating LeBron has been the Raptors’ own Sisyphean task, and since they simply can’t beat LeBron, how about reverse-engineering the popular mantra “if you can’t beat them, join them” and make it “if you can’t beat him, let him join you”?
4. Push his body’s limits in Minnesota
LeBron led the league in minutes at age 33 back in the regular season with 36.2 per game. Leave it to Tom Thibodeau to force LeBron into finding a way to play 70 minutes per game.
3. The King of the Kings
Not even the Kings could waste LeBron’s talent because LeBron is the only talent a team like Sacramento needs to stop looking like a glorified G-League squad. There’s not much to like for a top free agent in Sacramento, but if James wants to silence his critics down by proving he can win in the Western Conference, what better way to do it than put an entire franchise, which has been notoriously famous over the past several seasons for its incompetence, on his back and transforming it into an instant title contender.
James is the unstoppable force and the Kings’ incompetence is the immovable object. No matter the outcome of this basketball marriage, it’s going to warrant all our attention.
2. Miami Vice II
Bring back the good old times? Why not? For all the stories told about how sour the relationship between LeBron and Pat Riley has become, the latter likely would not deny the chance of having James back in the fold.
James is probably the best cure for Miami’s Hassan Whiteside sickness, and for everything else that has ailed the Heat on the court since the future Hall of Famer left South Beach to return to Cleveland in 2014. If James signs with Miami again, there won’t be a need for ESPN and Jim Gray, but the shock factor would still be huge.
1. From King to (Birmingham) Baron
Since LeBron is actively trying to catch up on Michael Jordan’s greatness, he could retire for a year and take on the opportunity to best MJ’s .202 batting average for the Barons in 1994.