Piggybacking off of Bill Simmons’ tweets that painted a way to Los Angeles (C) for LeBron James, J.A. Adande, during an appearance on Sportscenter, added more to the discussion.
“It’s possible. There are teams out there that have the salary cap space to absorb some of the contracts the Clippers would need to move,” said Adande in the interview. “There is interest on LeBron’s part if he were to leave Miami.”
Of course, anything is possible (word to Kevin Garnett). Adande would continue on the matter.
“The Clippers would certainly be high on his list. The opportunity to play alongside Chris Paul, point guard, alleviates some of the ball-handling duties that LeBron has had to take on over some of the years. The opportunity to play for a coach like Doc Rivers.”
With a Big 3 of James, Griffin, and Paul, James would be able to cut back on running the offense and being the number one guy on offense night in and night out as he had to do in Miami these last two years. You’ll have the best point guard in basketball along with one of the better scoring forwards. With those two surrounding James, LeBron could focus more on defense/playmaking and wouldn’t be forced to play a heavy amount of minutes, allowing him to expound more energy in the playoffs without worry of exhaustion. In laments-terms, James would be able to avoid all of the things he dealt with this past season.
Interestingly enough, Griffin wasn’t mentioned by Adande which leads one to think there are few that believe James could make his way to Los Angeles without Blake Griffin being a parting gift to Miami. As Bill Simmons mentioned a week back, the dumping of DeAndre Jordan long with several other hefty contracts (Crawford, Dudley, Barnes) could open the way for a trio, but sending Griffin to Miami in return for James is the easiest way and wouldn’t force James to take a huge pay cut . But without Griffin, the Clippers become a less attractive destination, depending on whom the organization would place around Paul and James.
Adande would then bring up an issue that’s in the back of everyones mind when mentioning LeBron to the Clippers: the presence of Donald Sterling.
“But you wonder if LeBron’s opposition to Donald Sterling, his outspokenness about the Donald Sterling issue saying ‘there’s no place in the league for someone like that holds the views that Donald Sterling has disposed’, how that could come into play. Donald Sterling is still technically the owner of the Clippers.”
With Adam Silver having banished Donald Sterling from the NBA, LeBron could look at that as progress in the matter, knowing that semantics are the only reason Sterling still lingers. But if James doesn’t want to play for a team currently owned by Sterling by time he’s ready to make his free-agent decision, there aren’t many that would criticize James for doing so.
LeBron James has until June 30th to make his decision in regards to exercising his early-termination option. Once he makes his decision, likely an opt out, James will be free to choose whomever he wants to play with, with several factors having a huge impact on such–mainly salary.
The Clippers could be an option along with several other teams not named Miami, but it’s going to be a long process to see if James to LAC is an actual option and not just a fairy-tale amongst writers and fans.