LeBron James can opt out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the end of the 2017-18 season, and one NBA pundit believes he’ll join the Los Angeles Lakers.
Rumors of James’ movement to the Western Conference have swirled since the Cavs were defeated by the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals. On Tuesday, Bill Simmons went on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” and detailed why he believes the superstar will join the Purple and Gold and not the crosstown rival Los Angeles Clippers.
“I would say the Lakers have five times a better shot of landing LeBron than the Clippers, maybe 10 times,” Simmons told Cowherd. “They got Rob Pelinka and they got Magic Johnson, it’s the Lakers. You’re acting like the Clippers matter. The Clippers missed their window in 2014, 2015.”
While James’ desire to play with Clippers point guard Chris Paul has been known, Simmons doesn’t believe James and Paul would work well together.
“Chris Paul needs the ball all the time,” Simmons said. “Did you watch the Finals? LeBron James always has the ball. Kyrie Irving stands over to the side. Chris Paul can’t do that, he doesn’t play like that. It’s gonna be the Lakers, it’s gonna happen.”
Simmons also points to the recent development with the Cavs’ front office as evidence that James will be leaving Cleveland.
“I think that explains a lot of what we saw this week with David Griffin and Dan Gilbert, which I thought was crazy. David Griffin, who’s the (general manager) of the Cavs, who’s making phone calls about trades and gets relieved of his duties the same day he’s calling teams to make a trade. Do you remember that happening before? That’s nuts.
“So obviously, he was trying to either, convince Gilbert to blow it up because LeBron’s leaving in a year and make some giant home run swing to try to keep him. Or just felt like, this is headed nowhere and maybe we should trade everybody and just rebuild.”
The Lakers remain stocked with young talent even after reportedly trading D’Angelo Russell, and if they can add George to the mix, they could become an attractive destination for James and his family.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images
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