Where will LeBron sign next season?

Jonathan Alfano, Sports Reporter

Of all the questions surrounding the NBA today, one in particular has been on the minds of basketball fans everywhere: what team will LeBron James play for come next season? The four-time MVP can opt out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the end of the season. If he does so, he would become arguably the biggest fish ever in the free agency pool, even at 33 years old. A number of teams have been identified as potential suitors for King James, but how many of them actually have a chance to sign him?

One cannot start this discussion without mentioning James’ current team, the Cavaliers. Up until recently, it was widely believed that James was going to leave Cleveland once again. The team hit a massive slide in January, going 6-8 in the month. That’s not even getting into the plethora of chemistry and off-court issues, now-former Cavalier Isaiah Thomas said about the team, “When adversity hits we go our separate ways.”

Then came the trade deadline, where the Cavaliers completely overhauled their roster in a trio of deals, shipping off Thomas, Channing Frye, Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, and Iman Shumpert, while bringing in Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Rodney Hood, and George Hill. James showed optimism for the new additions, “We have to see how it meshes obviously, but I like the pieces we have coming in.” The team has also performed better since these transactions, winning four of their five games. These recent developments have given Cavs fans more hope that he could resign with the team, but it is by no means a certainty.

Going beyond Cleveland, there are several teams who have a chance to sign the superstar for themselves. The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to James since the very start of these rumors. On a surface level this makes sense, LA is projected to have around $60 million in cap space to play around with this summer, which could be enough to sign James and another top free agent, such as Paul George. They also have young prospects with massive potential like Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. All these factors have made the Lakers a popular choice among experts to sign James, however he can’t play forever, and already being 33, he will want to win sooner rather than later. If that is his primary objective, there are better options available to him than the Lakers.

On that note, a team that has come into the picture recently is the Golden State Warriors, the league’s current juggernaut. A report surfaced a few weeks ago that James would consider joining the Warriors if they were able to offer him the max. James dismissed the report shortly after, but it is intriguing nevertheless. If the Warriors were to make a run at him, they would likely have to agree to a sign and trade with Cleveland, sending them a package revolved around Klay Thompson or Draymond Green. While this would be an absolute nightmare for anyone hoping for competitive basketball, it would be awe-inspiring to see James unite with Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, they have seven MVPs between the three of them.

Other teams rumored to be in contention for James include the Philadelpia 76ers, Houston Rockets, and a possible return to the Miami Heat. Regardless of where he signs, the landscape of the league would be radically altered. His decision will be one of the biggest in NBA history, but everyone will just have to wait and see where one of the greatest players of all time decides to take his career next.