What are LeBron James’ options now that Paul George has re-signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder at the onset of NBA free agency?
1. LeBron James can still make the most the money with the Cleveland Cavaliers, should he finally decide to sign a maximum contract with the organization, which is something he’s never done.
Does money matter? It certainly did to Paul George, because even after all the talk of PG-13 heading to the Lakers, George couldn’t say no the $16 million more per season the Thunder could offer.
If LeBron signs the supermax with the Cavaliers, he’ll earn $206 million, compared to the four years and $153.3 million he could get with the Lakers.
2. Speaking of George, check out these words from former Cavs’ GM David Griffin on keeping their free agent.
Committing to the Cavaliers is something James would never do, and quite frankly, it didn’t just hurt the team, but it kept him from winning championships.
Understandably, the organization and owner Dan Gilbert had to constantly worry about losing James, and really, that’s why the team traded Kyrie Irving last summer. Gilbert knew what it was like to get burned by James once, he had to have an insurance policy should James leave again.
Had James committed to the franchise, who knows what type of trades/signings the Cavaliers could’ve engineered.
3. An internet rumor had LeBron doing what he typically does in free agency, which is signing a one-and-one type contract with the Lakers.
Not sure what this accomplishes other than putting Magic Johnson under enormous pressure to bring another star on board.
If James does this, Cavs’ fans have a right to be peeved at the four-time MVP. There’s a strong sect of fans in northeast Ohio who are thankful for the title James delivered and would OK with him joining a better situation in his quest to knock off the Golden State Warriors.
But a one-and-one pact with the Lakers for next season doesn’t accomplish that, especially with George re-signing with OKC.
Sure, it’d be compelling basketball to see LeBron using Instagram to throw shade at Lonzo Ball and his pops, Lavar, but this isn’t a team capable of winning a championship next season.
LeBron wrote in his coming home letter that he wanted to finish his career as a Cavalier. The guy’s allowed to change his mind, but this isn’t the way to go about it.
4. The window is open for the Cavaliers as no news regarding LeBron and Lakers is good news. GM Koby Altman talked with James’ agent, Rich Paul, just after free agency commenced at 12:01 am Sunday morning.
LeBron’s best chances to reach the Finals include re-signing with the Cavaliers, joining the 76ers or finagling his way onto the Celtics roster.
James would quickly become frustrated on Philly, though, because the 76ers just lost Marco Belinelli. James needs to be surrounded by shooters and while NBA fans go nuts for Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, are not threats from beyond the arc.