Clippers: Don’t rule out LeBron James heading to the Clippers

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 16: LeBron James (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 16: LeBron James (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

LeBron James has been heavily tied to the Los Angeles Lakers despite still being a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, despite no real Clippers rumors around James, fans should not rule out his arrival.

The Los Angeles Clippers are in an interesting state after trading their star point guard, Chris Paul. Los Angeles still has superstar talent in the likes of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan with key role players surrounding them. However, many are still ruling the Clippers out of making any real noise this season as they are likely destined for a bottom three playoff seed.

Another aspect that many are giving the Clippers no chance in is bringing in the best basketball player in the world, LeBron James.

James currently is in the midst of an interesting time of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland just parted ways with their star point guard, Kyrie Irving, bringing in Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder in the process. The biggest x-factor in that deal, however, was the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round draft pick.

With Thomas on an expiring deal and James owning a player option, it is evident that the Cavaliers are preparing for the worst. Cleveland was completely dumbfounded by James’ first departure to Miami, becoming the laughing stock of the league for four seasons.

James now seems to be leaving, again. Reports first emerged in June that James would be leaving Cleveland for Los Angeles. Both the Clippers and the Lakers were on the table at that point. Now, the most talk seems to be around LeBron becoming a Laker, completely isolating the Clippers.

Yet, the Clippers have all the same opportunity that the Lakers have. As a matter of fact, LeBron himself may be better suited in joining the Clippers over the Lakers.

If he heads to the Lakers, LeBron is going to be stuck in limbo. The team is building up a young core that seems to be one superstar away from being good. James doesn’t want to be good, he wants to win rings. To win a ring with this young Lakers team the King would have to bring in more superstars. While whispers of Russell Westbrook are out there, the Lakers simply don’t have cap space.

Sure, the Lakers can trade Luol Deng and Jordan Clarkson, but the two superstars would still have to take a pay cut.

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That is why a move to the Clippers makes so much sense. First, we can assume that Wesley Johnson and Austin Rivers either opt out or get traded, that opens $18 million in cap space. Next, the Clippers can trade Danilo Gallinari to another contender for an expiring deal, giving the Clippers around $40 million to play with.

Los Angeles will also be freeing up $10 million dollars in free agents, although the team may look to resign Louis Williams.

Then, even though DeAndre Jordan has a player option, the Clippers can resign him with Bird Rights. Jordan will undoubtedly resign if LeBron James is promised, that is for certain. Now, James gets to join Los Angeles like wanted and gets a team around him that can contend for a title.

A starting five of Patrick Beverley/Milos Tedosic, Louis Williams, LeBron James, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan would be dangerous. They would have the talent to match with the Warriors and the size, allowing them to dominate the glass and control the game.

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So, maybe the smarter Los Angeles destination for James is indeed the Clippers. If LeBron wants to win now, to chase the legacy of Michael Jordan, the Clippers would be perfect.