The summer of 2018 will remind us of 2010 and 2014; the summers when LeBron hit free agency. In 2010, he left a Cavaliers team that did not have much to offer, both in terms of players and personnel. In 2014, he left a Miami Heat team that had just made the NBA Finals but looked to be on an aging decline. This time around, James could make other headlines. With a lot of strong options for LeBron in free agency, a few teams stand out above the rest. Here are the top five most likely destinations for James.
This rumor will go around until the very last second. James has been heavily tied to the Los Angeles Lakers, but it is mostly speculative. From a basketball point-of-view, the Lakers have a nice core of young players with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma. The allure of being in Los Angeles cannot be ignored, but it is unlikely to be the deciding factor for James.
If James goes to San Antonio, he knows that not only will he be able to compete for an NBA Championship every year, but also have an all-time great Head Coach, as well as an all-time great General Manager. People notoriously know the Spurs for their great conditioning and resting players throughout the season, and this would be attractive to James as his body eventually wears down.
Not only would James still be able to compete in a weaker conference for years to come, but there would legitimately be other options to take the load off of him. Keeping the salary cap in mind, if James wanted to stay in the Eastern Conference, his best chance to win multiple rings in the next five years would be in Philadelphia. James would join Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Markelle Fultz, Robert Covington, and his protege, Ben Simmons.
If James wants to be competing for year-after-year, and know that his ownership will do whatever it takes to win, then the Houston Rockets certainly fit that bill. It would be difficult to make it work under the salary cap, but imagine if LeBron James was paired up with James Harden, and Chris Paul.
This is a boring choice, but it would still make the most sense. James’s family and friends are all back in Ohio for the majority of the year, and it would be hard to give that up. It would not be surprising to see James own a piece of the Cavaliers in the future. Overall, Cleveland remains the most logical option because there is no other shoe-in scenario.