Our friend Eliot Shorr-Parks – one L, two Rs and a hyphen – of NJ.com speculates about the possibility of LeBron James coming to the Sixers next year, when he’ll be a free agent.
It’s… kind of crazy. But not really. Judging by the fact that LeBron dissed his hometown and New York three years ago, it’s obvious that he doesn’t necessarily favor nostalgia or big-city allure over winning, control, and palm trees, beaches, Miami sex and the like. In other words: he’s unpredictable and may prefer to avoid the added spotlight of playing in New York or LA.
Eliot makes a strong case for why Philly would… actually make sense. He lists seven subjective criteria that LeBron might use in deciding where he goes, if he goes anywhere:
1) Ability to sign another top-notch free agent
2) Supporting cast
5) Franchise Stability/History
I won’t steal Eliot’s thunder, but here’s a taste of the results of his delving:
1) Ability to sign another top-notch free agent- The Sixers will have roughly $31 million in salary cap space after they pay their top picks, giving them enough money to sign LeBron and bring whoever would have been willing to go to Cleveland with him. You also have to think that if LeBron was able to convince another player to join him for $12 million, that player would prefer Philadelphia over Cleveland, but as a life-long Philadelphia resident, my bias might be showing there. Regardless the Sixers present a ton of financial freedom for LeBron.
2) Supporting cast– What the Sixers have that no other team could offer Lebron, however, is four lottery pick players on cheap deals. The key to winning in the NBA is having a super star- but it is also having top talent at cap-friendly deals.
The Sixers will have Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams, likely a top-five pick, and potentially another lottery pick from a loaded 2014 Draft Class for a combined $15 million. Sure, they have to pan out as players. If they do tho, the Sixers can offer LeBron a top-notch defensive center, a 6-6 play making point guard, and one or two of the top prospects in a “can’t miss” draft. All just beginning their career.
Those are reason enough why it wouldn’t be completely crazy. You can read the rest of L2RsHyphen’s take here.
Is this the sort of article that’s born out of dark sports times? Yes, yes it is. And I think there’s almost no chance LeBron would come here. But all things considered, the Sixers will have a lot of young talent, cap space, super rich and entertainment-connected owners, they play in a big city, and would provide LeBron to opportunity the build his own legacy (in a major media market, too!), something that he can’t do completely playing alongside Dwyane Wade. In fact, there aren’t many reasons why Philly wouldn’t make sense. And at the very least, it’s fun to dream. So let’s dream, dreamers.
Oh, and go Heat!