LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers – complete chaos

Free agency is often times one of the wildest moments of the NBA calendar year, and it’s no different in 2018.



Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) tries to drive past Indiana Pacers' Paul George (13) in the second half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, April 17, 2017, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 117-111. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

I love chaos.

OK, let me rephrase that. I love NBA chaos. So, when news broke that Spurs’ All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard wanted to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, I sat back and opened Twitter, and chaos ensued.

Once NBA fans internalized the information, the LeBron rumors fired at rapid speed. Rumors have it that he’d like to play in LA, and he even enrolled his son in a Los Angeles school. But who knows, this could all be coincidental.

Think again.

My gut tells me James signs with the Lakers. Adding him to any team in the NBA would make that organization a playoff team, but with the current Laker roster, the Purple and Gold could easily be as high as a 3-seed in the Western Conference.

To add to it, you’ve got the Leonard situation. Let’s say the Spurs trade Leonard to the Lakers (which is very likely, considering that Leonard’s outright desire to play in Los Angeles — while only having one year left on his current contract — is a major turnoff for every team not in the city). Leonard and James, plus the young, promising core of Los Angeles (granted, one or two of their emerging stars would likely be involved in the trade) would be an intriguing mix. But it gets better.

Oklahoma City’s Paul George is a free agent as well, and he, too, has expressed interest last season in playing for the Lakers. Leonard is the league’s best two-way player (when he’s healthy/wants to play), but George is not far behind.

The “Big Three” of James, Leonard, and George mixed with the current Los Angeles supporting cast would easily challenge the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets for the top seed in the West, let alone an NBA title — call me an optimist, if you will.

But then, there are the other rumors linking James to other teams, such as Houston, Philadelphia, Boston, and San Antonio, to name a few.

Right away, I’d like to rule out the Celtics. There’s no way James signs with them. Celtic fans have a disdain that runs infinitely deep for LeBron, tracing back to his days in a Miami uniform to this past playoff, in which he eliminated the C’s after they had a 3-2 series lead.

Philadelphia would be an interesting fit, to say the least. The “Process” would finally be complete, but James (a point forward) would have to mesh with Ben Simmons (also a point forward). Simmons can’t shoot to save his life (at least on the basketball court — with women, that’s another story), so it would be questionable as to how the two would space the floor. Joel Embiid, as goofy as the guy can be, would pair well with James. It’s just a matter of how Philadelphia would be able to mix its driving and paint attack with any form of an outside presence.

If he wants to stay in the Eastern Conference (i.e., not facing the Warriors until the NBA Finals), keeping himself rooted out East would be ideal. But I just can’t see it happening.

In the Western Conference, I could see the Spurs being a dark horse to sign James, but they’d have to undergo some roster reconstruction. Leonard wants out, so there’s one previously integral piece out of the picture. LaMarcus Aldridge spaces the floor well from a forward standpoint, but San Antonio would need another All-Star level player to stay competitive with Golden State or Houston.

Houston has the best current roster out of the bunch to win a title right now, but for LeBron to sign there, the Rockets would need to disintegrate their depth, and that would come back to bite them. Houston is built around head coach Mike D’Antoni’s run-and-gun offense, and the current roster construction favors his style of play to perfection — remember, we were one Chris Paul hamstring away from a Rockets-Cavaliers NBA Finals. James could play off the ball much more in Houston than he has in years past with Cleveland (as Paul and James Harden are the primary ball handlers), but he’s at his best when he’s directing traffic.

Take this all however you want. Call me irrational, a man banking on Magic Johnson to work his magic, but I think James goes to the Lakers. I think Los Angeles pulls this thing off, signing James and George while trading for Leonard.

Will the NBA-sphere go up in flames? Absolutely. You’ll have people raging at Commissioner Adam Silver over the league’s super team “problem,” Laker fans chirping about how they’ll be hanging banner No. 17 next June, and you’ll also see other teams scrambling to find pieces to fit the almost unsolvable puzzle on how to topple defending champion Golden State and counter Los Angeles’ punch.

Complete and utter chaos, if you ask me.


Facebook Comments