Talk of LeBron James joining the Lakers has picked up after the Cavaliers’ 3-5 start. However, LA’s other team, the Clippers, are a far better fit for King James.
There are few athletes in the world with the same kind of impact that LeBron James has in the NBA. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Tom Brady may be the only other athletes on LeBron’s level. These select few make any team they join relevant, they are the ultimate superstar. With LeBron’s Cavaliers faltering, a move to either Los Angeles team — the Clippers or Lakers — seems likely.
This speculation picked up in the offseason. LeBron James owns a home in the LA area. Some “cryptic tweets” from James led many to think that an eventual move to LA was already in the books. With LeBron James recently wishing Lonzo Ball happy birthday, the twitter investigators have returned.
NBA executives even joined in on the act. According to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, executives gave three distinct reasons why LeBron was leaving the city of Cleveland for LA. Of course, all of which were pinned to the Los Angeles Lakers. From an acting career, to ownership in the Lakers to winning a title on three different teams, executives considered this a “foregone conclusion.”
And finally we circle back to today, where the Cleveland Cavaliers own a 3-5 record with the second worst defense in the NBA. The loss of Kyrie Irving and his offense has been detrimental, which now puts extreme pressure on Isaiah Thomas when he returns. With Kevin Love not looking the same and Thomas on an expiring deal, James may want to get out as soon as possible.
However, instead of joining the Los Angeles Lakers like many expect, King James would be better suited joining the Los Angeles Clippers. Ignore the illustrious history of the Los Angeles Lakers; the Clippers simply are the better fit — even if reports indicate that James would never become a Clipper.
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First and foremost, what is wrong with the Lakers? The Lakers have young talent aplenty, they have cap space next season and they have a winning culture starting at Magic Johnson. All that sounds great, but it is not what James needs at this stage of his career.
James does not want to play with young talent, we saw that when the Cavs traded Andrew Wiggins for Love. To make this work, the Lakers would have to trade their young stars for established stars. Not only should the Lakers avoid that, their stars may not be polished enough yet to even bring in a big level name while remaining under cap.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers already have established stars and more flexibility to move pieces for other pieces. Want to trade DeAndre Jordan, Austin Rivers or Danlo Gallinari to create LeBron’s perfect team? Consider that done. All LeBron needs in LA is a strong supporting cast alongside him and Blake Griffin.
The rest of the pieces fit perfectly for LeBron James. If the team can keep Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams they have a defensive star and a bench scorer. Milos Teodosic provides the playmaking at guard. Jordan, or his replacement, is the rebounder that can swallow up boards and dish it back out to LeBron and Griffin.
Everything suits LeBron perfectly. Of course he is going to want to remain competitive. His best chance at that is with the Los Angeles Clippers. Although the team likely would have to give Gallinari away for free, it is worth it to bring James in.
Overall, personally I do not think James is coming to LA to begin with. LeBron is not the type to telegraph anything he does. However, if he does come to LA, you best believe it will be with the Los Angeles Clippers.