When someone brought up Lebron James possibly going to Los Angeles the Clippers weren’t the team people had in mind as free agency is pending for the league’s best player. But ESPN thinks the Clippers could be an option come summer time.
“Unlike the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cavs — two teams that have been mentioned as suitors for James this summer — the Clippers will not have open cap space. They will not have the cap space to sign James as a maximum-level free agent. It would require a sign-and-trade if James ever got serious about the option. In short, it would take the Heat’s cooperation.” (Sequel time? LeBron’s next decision)
The story, written by Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst, is quite length, so I’ll summarize the overall idea in a few bullets:
- Lebron James is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
- He may be interested in pairing up with Chris Paul in Los Angeles.
- Lebron James respects Doc Rivers immensely.
- The Clippers have discussed James’ impending free agency.
- In order to make this happen, Blake Griffin would have to be sent to the Miami Heat due to cap space.
Respect to Shelburne and Windhorst. They’re reputation precedes them in almost every situation and are often right more than wrong. But this piece really says nothing and creates a rumor that’ll likely cause a stir in the basketball world and the page views for ESPN.
James isn’t afraid to speak on his free agency, but the message is clear: it isn’t here yet and he’s not going to discuss. There are many detractors along the way that can sway his decision to stay or leave Miami: winning a championship, Dwyane Wade‘s health, Chris Bosh‘s need for shine in the spotlight, him demanding a max contract, etc. etc. Nothing is concrete at the moment and that’s why this story comes of as forced.
The thing that sticks out the most is the would-be acquisition of James. Due to the lack of cap space, they’d be willing to trade away Blake Griffin to receive James. If this deal was on the table the Clippers would be a fool to turn it down. No matter how high Griffin’s ceiling is, you can’t turn down an offer for the best player in the world. He brings talent, skill and marketability in the way you hope Griffin could, though he’s doing a great job
A Chris Paul-Lebron James duo would be classified as basketball porn. You’ve got two of the best minds in basketball combined with the brain that is Doc Rivers. The surrounding pieces would be filled in and players would definitely take a pay cut to play alongside those two, all while being stationed in one of the biggest basketball markets in Los Angeles.
Of course, this story fits the narrative of tonight’s game as the Los Angeles Clippers take on the Miami Heat tonight. This assumption that Lebron could possibly head west increases the interest level in tonight’s matchup as James could be potentially trying out for his next team.
Hopefully one can enjoy the game without dreaming of the possible hypotheticals.