Lebron to Lakers in 2010?
TEAMMATES AGAIN?: Lebron James will the NBAâ€™s hottest free agent this upcoming summer but could he wind up with the Lakers and reunite with Olympic teammate Kobe Bryant? Itâ€™s an unlikely pairing but itâ€™s a theory some have speculated on with James signing with another superstar on a contender.
Â Wishful thinking on a possibility yet to be explored
By Jason LewisÂ
Sentinel Staff WriterÂ Â
What if LeBron James came to the Lakers next year to play along side Kobe Bryant? That question came up when sports writer Sam Smith, author of Jordan Rules, posed the question last week. Well, they’d win the NBA Finals for a number of years to come. That’s an easy one. But would James want to come to the Lakers, and would it even be possible.
The answer to both of those questions could very well be yes!
James could stay with the Cleveland Cavilers, but if he cannot win a title there this year he might as well get out of there while he has the chance to. The only reason to stay in Cleveland is if they won the title this year. If they did he would know that it is possible, and if they are already a championship team, why not stay and win some more titles, instead of going to teams like the New York Knicks or the New Jersey Nets?
Playing for the Knicks or Nets would be the same as playing for the Cavs. He’d be a one-man show and he will not have enough to win a title.
James has said that his decision is based on winning, and the Lakers would give him the best chance of winning a title. Actually, the best chance to win multiple titles.
There will be the notion that Bryant and James will not be able to play together because they will both need to dominate the ball, but that may not be the case. James is more of a Magic Johnson type of player, and he looks to get his teammates involved as much as possible, so he may be okay with Bryant taking more shots.
After the Olympics James said that he’d love to play with the other super stars on that team, and he seemed to really enjoy not having to carry the load.
If Bryant and James teamed up they would both benefit from the luxury of defenses not being able to focus on either one of them. If teams double Bryant, James will have a field day. If teams double-team James, Bryant will drop 81 points on them. If teams do not double-team either of them, then they both will light up the scoreboard.
Would Bryant be okay with another superstar on the team? Well, he has finally got used to trusting his teammates, and it has produced back-to-back NBA Finals appearances, winning one of them, a NBA MVP award, and a NBA Finals MVP award.
Bryant has a few more years before any type of decline. Having James on the team could extend his career because he would not have to shoulder the load, and it would give Bryant a better chance of winning multiple titles. With James, it would not be far fetched to think that Bryant could make a run at Bill Russell’s 10 NBA titles.
It would seem like the perfect marriage.
Surprisingly it is possible for James to come to the Lakers, and it even makes sense. If he leaves the Cavs they will get nothing in return for him. They will have a lot of cap room, but what does that really mean? There will not be very many free agents who will want to go to Cleveland, so their franchise will pretty much be sunk.
The Cavs were a horrible team for many years before they hit the NBA lotto and were able to select James. Since then they have been one of the best teams in the league. Not getting anything in return for James land the Cavs back in the cellar, and they would be one of the most irrelevant teams in the league… again.
If the Cavs want to be competitive after James leaves they will have to do a sign and trade. What better team to do it than with the Lakers? The Lakers have some good players that they can send in return.
Who should the Lakers send? Who ever the Cavs want, except for Bryant of course.
The Lakers could send over Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom, along with another player or two and some draft picks. Or Pau Gasol and Odom. The numbers may add up if they did that, and the Cavs would have a couple players to keep them afloat in the weaker Eastern Conference.
The Lakers should try to hold onto either Gasol or Bynum. Sending them both will hurt their frontcourt greatly. Keeping one of them, and teaming them with Bryant and James would be a team that would be nearly impossible to beat.
The sign and trade would be win-win for both sides. The Lakers would get a player that would allow them to win many more titles, while the Cavs would, well, still be able to win some games. That’s better than being on the lottery circuit for years to come like they were before they landed James.
What ever James decides, he needs to get out of Cleveland. Los Angeles would be the perfect city, where a celebrity like him can get the maximum out of his status. New York, even though their teams are not any good, would also be a great choice. Anybody that has taken a trip to Manhattan would instantly say that it is a better place than Cleveland. It is not even close.
New York is big time. Los Angeles is big time. Cleveland? Not so big time. James needs to be in a big time city while winning titles. That is not going to happen in New York, but it will happen for years to come in Los Angeles.