With the Golden State Warriors claiming an emphatic 4-0 victory in this year’s NBA Finals, the focus has now shifted to the future of Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James. The 33-year-old has now been forced to watch his Cavaliers side lose three of the last four finals, and with one eye on his NBA legacy, James could be on the move this summer.
It’s hard to take anything away from the Golden State Warriors’ performances over the last few weeks. Lead by the dynamic Stephen Curry, the Warriors are now in the conversation for the greatest NBA team of all time, but with their continued success, comes the suggestion that winning is perhaps becoming too easy. In fact, according to some NBA experts, the only thing that could threaten the Warriors’ domination over the NBA, would be LeBron James joining another franchise.
What would be the best fit for LeBron?
A likely landing spot for James would be the Houston Rockets, who are one of the few franchises that can guarantee instant success. The Rockets were in a fantastic position to knock Golden State out of the play-offs this year, until point-guard Chris Paul picked up an injury. Adding James to the roster would give them an undeniable edge, yet the logistics behind a potential trade are certainly complex.
The key problem for the Rockets would be balancing the salaries of James, Paul, and James Harden, which would take a $100m chunk out of their estimated $128m cap for next season. Unless James and Paul were willing to take a substantial pay-cut, which is fairly unlikely considering their leadership roles in the Players Association, the Rockets could struggle to negotiate a realistic trade deal.
Of course, James has plenty of other options. The Philadelphia 76ers have been building a fierce team over the last few years, and having someone like James around to nurture their young prospects would be hugely beneficial. Both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are likely to become NBA superstars in the future, and James could be pivotal in helping them develop.
James could also be tempted by a move to the LA Lakers, with reports that he has been flirting with the idea of joining the prestigious franchise for some time. LA would be a prime destination for the NBA’s biggest celebrity, and the Lakers would benefit from the spark that only a player of LeBron’s quality can bring.