After Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers failed to muster up one victory over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, it’s all but a sure thing he’ll be gracing another team’s roster next season.
Not even a week after the NBA season’s conclusion and rumors have circulated from Lebron playing with the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs and more. As of now, the odds favor the Lakers, 76ers, and Rockets. Those are the popular choices around the NBA and frankly, Los Angeles and Philly make sense for two different reasons.
One city is the most eligible destination outside of the obvious.
Oklahoma City has become a dark horse in the LBJ sweepstakes as of late but who honestly believes that can happen other than Lil Wayne and overzealous Thunder fans? Well, while that sounds like a preposterous hot take, there is some underlying reasoning behind it and based off Sam Presti’s track record, that’s all he needs.
There are a few things that don’t add up to Lebron in Oklahoma City. Of course, there is the most glaring narrative that there would be too many egos to deal with. Especially for a small market. Chemistry was a question mark throughout all of last season and then you try to add the King to that mix?
That isn’t even the worst of it all. It’s just the beginning of the issues.
Westbrook may not be a great fit for James and James may not be a great fit for Westbrook. The only reason for this thought is because of Westbrook’s style of play. His ball-dominant style of play mixed with his dominant personality may not mix with Lebron, who is a jack of all trades. James would force Westbrook to be Robin again, at least for the time being and who knows how that would resonate.
Even if all of this is proven to be untrue, who says Carmelo would be cool with it? The pressure for him to come off the bench would increase, and he’s already expressed his displeasure with that possibility. The Thunder would be a better team with a starting lineup of Westbrook-Roberson-George-James (at power forward) and Adams. Carmelo would be a lethal offensive option off the bench. He’d be more effective than he is in the starting lineup for sure.
Those three situations could cause a debacle of a season once again for OKC. But there are just as many positive and realistic reasons why Lebron to OKC could actually be a match made in heaven.
James would be teaming up with an entire starting roster full of veteran playoff experience. Also, just like in Miami he’d have two counterparts in the middle of their prime with Westbrook and George. More intriguingly, he’d have a solid big man to play alongside in Steven Adams.
Everyone correlates big names to big cities when it’s perhaps the opposite now. A lot of the elder-statesmen of the NBA that are still considered stars crave the low-key life and in Lebron’s case, crave a championship. Wherever the best opportunity lies for James is where he’ll be. Don’t feed into the ‘Lebron doesn’t want to be in a city like OKC’ talk, it’s blasphemy. Comparing the two cities, there’s not that much of a difference.
Lebron has voiced a favorable opinion on playing with Paul George. The popular opinion on that is George will leave OKC and head to the Lakers and subsequently, so will James. What if George decides to remain in OKC and Lebron sees that as more of a draw?
To Westbrook’s benefit, Lebron may be the only person associated with the NBA that can put him in his place when he needs to be. It’s obvious that James pulls the best out of his teammates and that would hold true with Westbrook. Although Russ doesn’t have many deficiencies, the ones he has are obnoxiously obvious. That’s something I believe James can alter a bit.
Everything is far-fetched but as we all saw last season, Sam Presti pulls rabbits out of hats. The Thunder weren’t even in the picture for George or Anthony but somehow the ran away with the two. Lebron to OKC may be far-fetched but that’s where Presti feels most comfortable, in the shadows. Don’t sleep on it.