Writer: Marcus Carr
Last week I wrote a piece on how we should embrace Kyrie’s decision. Per Chris Sheridan, an NBA source said today: “This will be Lebron’s final season in Cleveland. He is 100 percent leaving. Relationship with owners beyond repair.” Sheridan was the first to report that Lebron was returning to Cleveland in 2014. A lot of speculation has surrounded Lebron since in fact, he has been so quiet about Kyrie wanting out of Cleveland. To back what I said last week, Kyrie is doing everything right and he shouldn’t want to stay with how broken the Cavs are. There were rumors that Jimmy Butler didn’t want to go to Cleveland because a member of the Cavs told him Lebron’s departure is uncertain. David Griffin was one phone call away from acquiring Paul George before Dan Gilbert let him go, we now have Lebron James, Paul George, Russell Westbrook and DeMarcus Cousin all with their eyes on Los Angeles.
Things start to get tricky here, the Oklahoma City Thunder put all their poker chips in on this year, either they are going to keep both Russell Westbrook and Paul George or lose them, this speculation comes from Westbrook being hesitant to sign an extension. The Thunder are a 5 seed in the West barring injury, they lack a lot of depth but Paul George will bring another dimension of scoring that they desperately needed last season. We know how hellbent George is on going to Los Angeles and we can go ahead and say the Lakers while we are at it. During his introduction to the team he went on record saying “he would like to go play for his home team in LA.” George and Russ could both very well end up as Lakers, if Westbrook decides not to sign an extension by the trade deadline, Sam Presti will shop Westbrook avoiding another Kevin Durant situation. Paul George could very well be traded at or before the deadline as well.
The Lakers current situation right now would make a lot of sense for Paul George and Lebron James both heading to the West coast. It starts with the number two pick from the 2017 draft, Lonzo Ball. Neither Lebron or PG13 have played with point guard who can distribute the ball so efficiently and well. Lebron will be on the decline if he heads to Los Angeles, Paul George will still be at the ripe age of 28 and Lonzo Ball will be 20 years old. We have already seen Lebron start to play more efficiently and slow down in games during a long stretch, placing him next to a player who is a pass first point guard and another who is a knock down shooter will allow Lebron to bring the winning culture back to Los Angeles. The Lakers have a very young roster and if they can get rid of Luol Deng’s contract they can shed $18M next season almost guaranteeing that they can offer two max contracts.
Lebron is leaving Cleveland for the second time. Things have been on thin ice with Dan Gilbert since Lebron’s return and Gilbert hurt the chances of retaining Lebron by not renewing David Griffin’s contract where he was one phone call away from a Paul George deal. Lebron gave Cleveland the ring he promised them, now it is time for Lebron to ride off in the sunset in LA. Will Sam Presti keep Lebron from having Paul George and or Russell Westbrook? The real question is.. Will Lebron want to play in Los Angeles while dealing with Lavar Ball?