It’s been tough for the East to keep up with the Cleveland Cavaliers since LeBron James returned, but The King might soon take his talents to the Western Conference.
James helped lead the Cavs to their first NBA championship last season, pulling off the only 3-1 comeback in league history. But now that he’s made good on his promise to bring a trophy home and Cleveland is getting pushed around by the Golden State Warriors once again, James might opt to head to California, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported Thursday, citing league sources.
James becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2018, and O’Connor’s sources believe the Los Angeles Lakers or Clippers both could be viable options for the 32-year-old. The Lakers, in particular, could be enticing, as Paul George reportedly wants to return home and the team is set up for long-term success with its young core. Still, O’Connor pointed out James wants to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony, and uniting with their friend Chris Paul on the Clippers would be their ideal situation.
It would be a strategic move for James to leave the Cavs, as there’s no guarantee Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving stick around when their deals are up in 2020. And even though they’re the powerhouse in the East, the Cavs were built with a win-now mentality and don’t have the assets to build upon what they already have. As long as the Warriors have a roster full of two-way players, Cleveland’s quest for more titles will be an uphill battle.
Either way, it’d be interesting to see James head West, as the Boston Celtics would become the favorites in the East. And if James does become a Laker, the Boston-L.A. rivalry would be more exciting than it’s been in years.
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