What’s Next for The King?

Now that the brutal Finals are finally over, we can move on to what has become the most exciting part of the NBA, the offseason. This summer we will see some high-profile players hit the free-agent and trade markets including Paul George, Demarcus Cousins, and maybe even Kawhi Leonard. None of which will be bigger than the man who just went to his eighth straight NBA Finals, LeBron James.

This will be James’ third time in free agency. Both previous times, he chose to leave his team to hook up with superstars. While this time should be no different, I do believe that this time has the most freedom for James. What I mean is that there’s not necessarily a wrong choice he can make. The Sports world is well aware that he’s given Cleveland everything he has and they just don’t have enough around him to compete for a championship. That said, he should be able to wherever is truly best for him and be totally justified in doing so.

The King will have many teams to choose from this summer as he could virtually turn any team in the league into a playoff team. However, there will only be a handful of teams that James will actually consider. Here are the five most likely destinations for James and the pros and cons of joining each:

Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron Im Coming Home
The famous magazine cover after James announced he was returning to Cleveland in 2014

Pros:

  • Max contract
  • Earn a lot of respect by staying with home team
  • Stay in easier Eastern Conference
  • Potential to acquire other stars with assets

Cons:

  • Probably wouldn’t give best opportunity to win
  • Will be difficult to put together contending team

Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron & Lonzo
James having a conversation with Lakers Number One Draft Pick, Lonzo Ball

Pros:

  • Make a lot of money
  • Join one of the most decorated franchises in all of sports
  • Potential to join other superstars
  • Live in Los Angeles

Cons:

  • Go to a tougher conference in the West
  • Pressure to live up to Laker expectations
  • Have to deal with Lavar Ball (unless Lonzo is traded)
  • May have to give up young talent in order to acquire James and other stars

Philadelphia 76ers

Philly wants LeBron
A billboard in Philadelphia courting James to join the Sixers in the summer

Pros:

  • Stay in the Eastern Conference
  • Play alongside some of the best young stars in the league
  • Potential to acquire other stars with assets

Cons:

  • May be difficult to mesh with Ben Simmons
  • May have to give up young talent in order to acquire James and other stars
  • Recent scandal with Bryan Colangelo

Houston Rockets

LeBron & Houston
James playing against Houston All-Star James Harden

Pros:

  • Join team with best chance to beat Golden State
  • Play alongside All-Stars James Harden and Chris Paul
  • Play under a good coach in a good system

Cons:

  • Tougher Western Conference
  • Might be difficult to distribute ball effectively with so many ball-handlers
  • Might require James to become a spot-up shooter

Boston Celtics

LeBron & Kyrie
James embracing his former teammate, Kyrie Irving in their first meeting since Irving was traded to Boston

Pros:

  • Stay in Eastern Conference
  • Join the team closest to beating Cleveland in Conference Finals
  • Reunite with Kyrie Irving
  • Join one of most decorated franchises in sports

Cons:

  • May have to give up young talent in order to acquire James
  • Reunion with Irving could be awkward
  • Pressure to live up to Boston expectations

Sleeper: Oklahoma City Thunder

LeBron & Russ
James and Russell Westbrook, who James selected on his All-Star team

Pros:

  • Play alongside Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and possibly Paul George

Cons:

  • Western Conference

James has a big decision ahead of him. One thing is for sure – his decision will send shock waves across the NBA and have a huge impact on the balance of competition in the league. LeBron Featured Image

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