Written By : Austin Philippi
Possible Roster: Lebron James, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Anderson, LaMarcus Aldridge
Championship Ability: The Spurs have a championship pedigree and a 21-year playoff streak on the line. LeBron would be signing up to play with the best player he’s ever played with in Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs have a plethora of 3-Pt shooters and championship experience coming off that bench which is what LeBron needs to thrive. A team boasting this kind of Length at every position would also give the warriors fits as Steph Curry will be stuck on Danny Green for most of a potential Spurs- Warriors matchup as he couldn’t be guarding Lebron James.
Coaching: Lebron has always made what seems most of his teams coaching and personal decisions. Lebron going to San Antonio he’d be giving that power up to one of the two teams better at building a championship team than Lebron has been. Popovich would challenge Lebron and I believe finally force Lebron to start and play at Point Guard throughout the game.
Texas: No State TAX
Negatives: The branding opportunities wouldn’t be great for LeBron, it would be great for the spurs as they’d be talked about daily for the first time ever. Lebron would also have to give up a lot of control and his decision making to adhere to Pop’s system and team. Lebron also has no real chance to leave a legacy in San Antonio, if he doesn’t win 4+ titles there he wouldn’t get a statue or be talked about in the breath of Tim Duncan for the Spurs. Most he could hope for legacy wise is winning another couple Rings and getting his jersey retired in a 3rd location. Would have to play one of if not both Golden State and Houston before reaching the NBA finals and having to play Kyrie Irving.
Possible Roster: Lonzo Ball, Paul George, Lebron James, Kyle Kuzma, Julius Randle
If Magic Blows up Youth for Lebron: Lonzo Ball and Julius Randle may be enough to trade for Westbrook after PG13 Departs. Brandon Ingram, Josh hart, and a draft pick or compensation may be enough to get Cousins from the Pelicans.
Westbrook, Paul George, Lebron James, Kyle Kuzma, Demarcus Cousins
Championship Ability: Lebron added to any team has championship expectations. He’s carried this Cavaliers team to the NBA finals, the Lakers if you added him and PG13 to the roster would be leaps and bounds better than the Cavaliers currently. They would be in the West and may not exactly be ready for championship pressure, but I believe their team would have a better shot than the currently constructed Cavs. However, I do believe they have the least amount of Championship certainty if Lebron goes and may have the most expectations because of an expecting fan base.
Youth: The Lakers could develop alongside Lebron as he grooms young talent to possibly carry him in 3-5 years when he is no longer the best player on the planet. Allowing him to possibly compete for championships for years to come, after he either outwaits the warriors or finally gets over the hump.
Branding: The bright lights of LA is a huge attraction especially for someone as brand and image conscious as Lebron James. He has 2 homes already in southern California leading to the assumption he wants to live there at some point in his life. He’d also have opportunities to be in more commercials and movies than ever before especially as he’d have shorter seasons not making the finals for the first year or two.
Lakers/Celtics Rivalry: With Kyrie on the Celtics if Lebron went to the Lakers the rivalry of the 80’s would feel renewed. And two of the best franchises in NBA history would now have real championship aspirations. While this may not be something in Lebron’s head completely it should be in the NBA’s and their fans as it something the consumers would love to see.
Family: California has a great High School Basketball Program, which is important for his oldest son specifically as Lebron James Jr. has shown real sings of being a future NBA prospect. He has multiple houses there already and it is almost always sunny and warm in the bright lights of LA.
Negatives: Playing for the Purple and Gold comes with expectations LeBron would be embrace, however if it doesn’t result in championships for Lebron it could further hurt his legacy in eyes of Kobe fans who would expect a title to be delivered. Bringing me to my last point if Lebron leaves for another team it should be to not only win and win a lot but to create a legacy with a second franchise that will result in a statue and possibly even a 3rd jersey being retired. Lebron would have to bring 2-3 titles minimum to the Lakers to get that kind of honor in LA. All that said, I don’t think LA is the place for him to finish his career.
Possible Roster: Chris Paul, James Harden, LeBron James, PJ Tucker, Clint Capela
Championship Ability: The Rockets had a lead on the Warriors until Chris Paul got injured, giving an argument they are very close to being better than the warriors. They missed 27 straight 3’s in Game 7 to end up losing. Add a Lebron James or CP3 to weather that storm and make better decisions and the Rockets could be in the finals this year.
Lesser Workload: Lebron played over 100 games this NBA season and many stretches in these NBA playoffs he has looked exhausted. This would be the best set of guards LeBron has ever played with giving him the least duties handling the ball he will have had in his career. James Harden can take a ton of the workload off Lebron from a scoring standpoint while CP3 takes the pressure off him to make plays. Allowing Lebron to find how else he can exert his powers on the court to make a Houston more formidable than Golden State.
Chris Paul: Lebron and CP3 have been friends for over a decade and have always wanted to play with each other at some point. I wouldn’t doubt the notion that OKC buys out Carmelo and he finds himself along with D Wade playing for Houston coming off their bench. Finally allowing the banana bout to become reality. However, even if this doesn’t come to be I still see Lebron wanting to play alongside one of the best point guards of this generation.
Legacy: Lebron could end up with a statue in Houston if they won 2-3 titles and had multiple appearances in a row. He could also easily find his name up in the rafters for the Rockets one day. The issue will come with the rockets were an injury away from possibly being in NBA finals. So, he won’t get the same level of credit if he went to another location. Miami is the easiest place for him to try and get another statue built however they don’t have the pieces or cap room for him to compete for championships. I just think another way he can become the GOAT is finding a location in which he can not only get his jersey retired for a 3rd time but possibly finish his career there giving whatever team he chooses real chances for multiple titles over the next couple of years.
Negatives: Lebron won’t get the level of credit he would deserve for delivering a championship to Houston. If he finishes his career out there his stats will take a dive in Points and Assists which could affect his place in history as I think he has a real chance to pass Kareem in scoring and Magic in assists. Playing out the rest of his career with Harden and Paul eliminates him from the Magic conversation but maybe not the Kareem if he plays into his 40’s. Also, if he goes to H-Town he has to beat Golden State then beat what I’m assuming will be the Celtics and Kyrie Irving. Losing an NBA Finals to Kyrie would not look good on his resume.
Possible Roster: Ben Simmons, JJ Reddick, Lebron James, Dario Saric, Joel Embiid
6th man – Robert Covington
Possible Roster with trades and a second star:
Ben Simmons, Paul George (signs as a free agent), Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard (Trades Covington, Saric, and Fultz) Joel Embiid
Championship Ability: If Lebron joins the 76ers as currently constructed they’d have a ton of 3-point weapons and still be almost too big at almost every position for another team to compete. If the 76ers pulled off sending their young assets off for Kawhi Leonard or signed a combination of PG13 and LBJ they would be too big for the warriors to compete against. The smallest guy on the court would be Kawhi Leonard whom has 4 inches and 40 pounds on Steph Curry at least. This is obviously a dream team but if Lebron is dominated the rest of this finals he’s going to orchestrate his own super team (again) that will rival or surpass Golden State this time. If Lebron is smart he signs for very cheap for one year and then sign for more money after when the team can over the cap to sign him. He should do this to assure Paul George can go there with him and they attempt to trade everything else to land Kawhi for a Big 5.
Lesser Workload: Lebron would get to groom Ben Simmons who is already a client of Lebron’s Klutch Sports. Giving LeBron a break to where he can rest for the postseason and take games off next season but still step in and get his numbers on the games he does play. He won’t have the full burden having to do the scoring and he will have arguably two of the biggest mismatches in the NBA on a nightly basis when you think that Embiid is a 7’0 center that is the best in the NBA and Ben Simmons is a 6’10 Point Guard who will have 7-10 inches on his matchups most nights. That is a recipe along with Saric and Reddick or PG13 and Kawhi that Lebron can dominate the east with for the next 3 years and get his first 3-Peat.
Youth: Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Fultz, Saric, Covington. These are all young players who are locked up for years to come, LeBron could ride the youth that already won 50+ games and let it take him to multiple championships over the next 5-10 years if they all develop properly. Or Lebron can pressure management to make moves for additional seasoned NBA stars. Either way the youth is nothing but a plus for Philadelphia.
Legacy: The 76ers haven’t won a title sense 83 and it only took one title for the city to enshrine Erving with a statue. After the buzz of winning the Super Bowl LeBron could ride that momentum to take Philadelphia to the “IT” sport city for the next 5 years. If Lebron wins 1-2 titles with Philly and gets multiple appearances the city will have a statue of LeBron right alongside Erving and Rocky Balboa. The city has a craved sports championship for years, that’s why a fictional character like Rocky can be so big for a city. The Eagles have given their fans that joy but with the rise of the 76ers youth this season it has the city buzzing for more. Lebron could deliver.
Negatives: The fans went a little too crazy after the Eagles won the Super Bowl, and Lebron is a family man the city of Philadelphia may be a little dangerous for a king and the NBA’s Royal Family. Ben Simmons also must develop a jump shot outside of 5 feet for them to reach max potential. As well as Joel Embiid having health concerns could be a thought in Lebron’s head during his decision making.
Possible Roster: Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Lebron James, Jason Tatum, Al Horford
Bench: Rozier, Gordon Hayward, Alfred Morris
Possible Roster if Kyrie gets mad and traded:
Terry Rozier, Kawhi Leonard, Lebron James, Jason Tatum, Al Horford
Bench: Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Alfred Morris
Championship Ability: The Celtics were a game away from going to the NBA finals without their two biggest stars. They have the best chance to go to the NBA finals for the next 5 years plus barring Lebron making a super team somewhere else. Why try and beat them again when you can join them and power the team up further to win multiple NBA Finals for years to come. Now I know most people think LeBron wouldn’t do it especially because of kyrie but I feel he could force the organizations hand to where if Kyrie doesn’t like it they move Kyrie. But if it goes smoothly Lebron and Kyrie would have fleeced their way onto the team who I thought for years was next up because of their plethora of picks. Which turned into Rozier, Brown, Tatum and more making the Celtics a destination Lebron could realistically go to the next 7 straight NBA Finals and will have a great chance to win many of those long the way. Having a player like Gordon Hayward come off the bench for the Celtics would be an eliminate the Warriors couldn’t keep up with. Combine that with their overall length and ability to play and switch on defense will be huge in defending Golden State on the perimeter.
Youth: The Celtics have gotten a ton of picks from the Nets over the last few years that have led in a ton of lottery picks. These lottery picks have exceeded expectations in most cases. Brown, Tatum, and Rozier are three great young assets that can be groomed by LeBron and help him go to championships for years to come. Jason Tatum is a real star and I believe to already be a top 25 player in the NBA. (See UniquESports+ top 100 NBA Players)
Stats: Lebron would still be able to step into this team and orchestrate the offense like he is comfortable with. He’d be able to average 8+ assists for almost the rest of his career while still scoring 24+ points per game for the next few seasons. How well Lebron would be able to age with this team would allow him to change positions later in his career to where the ball isn’t in his hands as much every play but where he works out of the post a lot for the Celtics and won’t be expected to make every play. This allows Lebron to get to the point in NBA history with his overall stats I believe he will.
Coaching: Brad Stevens is the second-best coach in the NBA with what is the BEST GM in the NBA. That is an absolute recipe for success that LeBron should be a part of for his last 5+ seasons in the NBA. Lebron would really get to see what it is like to just play basketball and not have to carry an entire franchise from top to bottom on and off the court.
Branding: The Celtics may not be Los Angeles, but it is close to New York and still has the bright lights in the North East. That along with a very loyal and strong fan base, Lebron would experience a sport city really unlike any other. Lebron would also get the chance to turn a fan base who has hated him his entire career into huge fans.
Legacy: If Lebron James went on to lead the Celtics to 2-3 NBA titles or more and a ton of appearances would find himself more loved by Celtics fans than Paul Pierce. He could find himself with a statue next to Larry Bird if he won 3 straight or more. All of this is hypothetical of course LeBron has only won 3 rings up to this point in his NBA career and would need to go to one of these teams and continue to be the LeBron we’ve come to expect, and he could win that many more championships. If Lebron’s only thought and concern is chasing Jordan and he doesn’t feel he has any peers than his only thought should be to go to a place he can Stack the odds in his favor to get to as many finals in a row as possible and maximizing his chances to win when he gets there. If he goes to Boston they’d be favored in the East for the next 5+ years and could easily beat Golden State and win multiple titles in that span especially with Golden State aging and having injury history and Lebron joining a young team.
Negatives: There isn’t a whole lot of negatives from a basketball standpoint. However, Kyrie Irving’s presence on the team may deter Lebron from choosing the Celtics. He’d also be viewed as jumping on the Celtics bandwagon and making the NBA have the same level of non-parity for the next few years. Giving us Lebron-Warriors Part 5, 6, and 7. This is a negative for fans as many would like to see multiple teams with the chance to win a title. LeBron would receive major ridicule for going to Boston, but that shouldn’t deter him as people have already started to forget Kevin Durant did something much worse when he joined the Warriors.