There is still about half of an NBA regular season and an entire playoff run ahead of us, but when it comes to one of the greatest of all time, it is fair to look ahead to the offseason. As you surely know by now, if he wishes to, LeBron James can opt out of his current contact with the Miami Heat after this season. This would certainly put the NBA rumor mill in a frenzy, as we would probably be looking at “The Decision: Part Deux.”
A return to the Cleveland Cavaliers has been rumored, as has him bolting South Beach to play with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. The most likely scenario has always been and will likely remain to be, James staying with the Heat and looking to build a dynasty. With back-to-back titles under their belts, and a serious contender to take home the championship again, nobody would blame LeBron for staying in Miami.
Originating from a report by Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, the Los Angeles Clippers are now being considered major players for James this offseason. Unlike the Cavaliers and Lakers, the Clippers do not currently have the cap space to land James, but let’s be honest, if LeBron says that he will sign with the Clippers, they will find a way to make it work.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers is known as a very popular coach with the players and has the type of championship experience that will surely be enticing for James. Also, not only is Chris Paul the best point guard in the NBA, and one of the best players overall, him and James are very good friends. Not to mention, the spotlight of Los Angeles is attractive to any player.
There is always a great chance that James stays in Miami. He has been unbelievably successful there and he appears to be very happy. That being said, his sidekick Dwyane Wade has struggled with injuries for the better part of the past three seasons, and even when he is on the court, Wade is a shell of his former self. Wade is a sure-fire future Hall-of-Famer, but he is not an All-Star caliber NBA player any longer.
If James does opt out and leaves Miami, the Clippers would be a very attractive destination for him. After their fallout, returning to Cleveland just seems so unlikely and the Lakers are an organization without any real direction. Every other team in the NBA will also be interested, and I am sure some will make some very compelling arguments. With all of that being said, the Clippers would make a ton of sense, and I believe they will be serious contenders to land King James this offseason.