There has been plenty of talk about what Paul George might do next season as a free agent, especially after he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, the free agent most people will be going after next summer is LeBron James should he decide to leave Cleveland for a second time. There’s been talk of James potentially joining George in L.A. and it would seem those talks heated up in Las Vegas at the NBA Summer League.
The Washington Post is reporting that several NBA executives are “confident” that LeBron James will leave for L.A. next summer. From their report:
And, not surprisingly, opinions on his ultimate location were split among league executives in Las Vegas. Several felt confident he will head west to Los Angeles next summer, agreeing with the rumblings along those lines that have been going around the league for some time. This speculation was given an extra dose of fuel when James showed up at a Lakers summer league game last Wednesday instead of attending the ESPYs.
James already owns a home in Los Angeles, and his myriad business interests would allow him to continue building his empire in Hollywood while playing for either the Lakers or Clippers (though the leader is the Lakers, given the presence of Magic Johnson and the team’s ability to potentially land two stars on max contracts next summer).
Should James and the Cavaliers — despite their lackluster free agent signings — make another NBA Finals this year, then you have to think that he would sign another 1+1 contract where he could opt out after a year should the NBA landscape look much different after this season. However, the allure of playing with the young core the Lakers have created as well as Paul George should give James serious pause in re-signing with the Cavaliers next summer.
If Lonzo Ball turns out to be the point guard everyone thinks he is along with Larry Nance Jr., Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram continue to improve then they should be in great shape to sign James. They’d also be bringing in another top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft presuming they continue to tank a little bit this season.