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Cavs Rumors: LeBron James Could Head to Los Angeles After Next Season
- Updated: June 8, 2017
In the aftermath of the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ Game 3 loss in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors, the future makeup of the team becomes more of a consideration. The frustration that’s likely felt by the central component of the Cavaliers, LeBron James, has now led to speculation that he might be considering a departure from the Cavs after next season.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer wrote that James could be considering joining either the Los Angeles Clippers or Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. Part of the reason for that proposed move is because James owns a home in the Los Angeles area, plus one of his closest friends, Chris Paul, currently plays for the Clippers. Should the Clippers end up up acquiring the disgruntled Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks, the story might gain added credence.
“Multiple league sources I’ve spoken to think the Lakers or Clippers are viable destinations for King James. Jalen Rose said this week on First Take that he expects LeBron to make a move from Cleveland to California, where he already owns a house 30 minutes away from Staples Center,” O’Connor wrote. “The Lakers make sense if LeBron wants to build a sustainable winner with a core blend of veterans and youthful talent like Paul George — if, as NBA gossip suggests, George truly is ‘hell-bent’ on going to L.A. — and Brandon Ingram.”
The Cavaliers are obviously aware of the prospect of James potentially leaving, especially since Cavs general manager David Griffin addressed such a scenario when he was speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. He used the example of dealing for Kyle Korver by trading a top-10 protected 2019 first-round selection for the veteran:
“It’s our job to win right now and everyone feels that,” Griffin said. “Ownership feels that, ownership invests in it. When you have that amount of clarity, it makes doing things like trading protected firsts make sense. It may not look good on the books moving forward and people may look at it and say, ‘Oh my god, they’ve mortgaged their future.’ Well, if LeBron and Kyrie [Irving] and Kevin [Love] are gone, and we become a lottery pick, we’ll have those picks because they’re protected.”
Of course, finding a way to upgrade the Cavaliers roster in the next year could very well offer encouragement for James ending his career with the Cavaliers. One immediate concern doesn’t actually involve a Cavaliers player, but Griffin himself. James has been very vocal about signing the general manager to a new contract, so if that falls through this summer, the possibility of James leaving after next year could rise considerably.