Hey So Could The Sixers Sign LeBron James If He Becomes a Free Agent Next Summer?

Photo credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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Kevin O’Connor has a piece up over at The Ringer about speculation that LeBron James could wind up with the Lakers when he enters free agency next summer:

The Lakers are in shambles now. They’re a bad team, period. They’ve won less than 28 percent of their games (91 out of 328) over the past four seasons. On the surface, they make little sense as a home for LeBron. But LeBron is one of the most cerebral athletes in history, on and off the court. If LeBron takes a longview, it’d be easy to see the Lakers’ existing potential. Once you factor in another year of development for their young core, add their draft pick this summer, toss in signing Paul George next summer, then add LeBron, suddenly it’s a roster with a blend of impact players on cheap contracts and veterans ready to win now. A mix of vets and youth is how to build sustainable winners in the NBA.

You should buy stock in George heading to L.A. The vibe I’ve gotten from talking to NBA executives and agents over the past few weeks is that teams aren’t willing to sell the farm for George because of the possibility that he’ll sign with the Lakers is so strong. George is better than both Irving and Love — he’s a rare two-way superstar. He’s also a player whom LeBron respects. If George does indeed go to L.A., the Lakers would have to move their two albatross contracts in Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov in order to also add LeBron. They have picks (the Rockets’ 2017 first-rounder and a couple of extra second-rounders over the next few years) and young assets (Julius Randle) that could be used to sweeten a package deal. They should try to unload those contracts as soon as they can this summer, largely to clear the books, but also to prepare for a splash in 2018.

Now, replace just about everything you read there with the Sixers.

This is only a thought experiment, of course, but if LeBron were looking to go somewhere next summer to build a super team with Paul George and young talent, you can very easily argue that Philly is a better place to do it. Let’s just look at cap space: Currently, the Sixers are dead last in the league with only $8 million committed in salary in 2018-2019, according to HoopsHype.com. That doesn’t include cap holds for Joel Embiid and other options, but the point is that if there is one team that could essentially serve as a blank canvas on which to build a super team, it’s the Sixers.

Imagine, Joel Embiid is healthy this year and proves himself to be the best big man in the league. Ben Simmons wins Rookie of the Year. Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson or Malik Monk prove to be useful rookies capable of getting heavy rotation minutes on a good team. The Sixers don’t make any major free agent signings this offseason. They would, most likely, have the cap space to max two free agents next summer and retain Joel Embiid. Derek Bodner laid it out in his deep-dive on what signing Kyle Lowry would mean for the Sixers’ cap in 2018-2019. It’s behind a paywall (subscribe here), so I’ll just excerpt a small portion:

In some sense, there’s a part of me that would respect the gumption and guts it would take to try this, if this was, in fact, even the longer-term plan the Sixers have in mind if and when they offer Lowry a contract this summer. Building the bench would be tough, especially as Simmons and Saric come up for new contracts following the 2019-20 season. But if you walk away with a core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Kyle Lowry, Jonathan Isaac, and a Paul George level player it may not matter, even as Lowry begins his inevitable decline. I also think there’s some argument to be made that how swift Embiid’s rise to being an impact player should make you, at the very least, re-evaluate your definition of the timeline the Sixers are on.

Now, replace Lowry with LeBron, who will get a similar contract to what Lowry will get this summer (where do we all fit in this world?), and all of a sudden you have a potential super team. Ball, George, James, Simmons, Embiid. Jizz.

This is all speculation, of course, but it is doable. Whether LeBron would want to come to Philly or not is debatable. He does have a relationship with Jerry Colangelo (perhaps not a good one) through USA Basketball. He’s literally Ben Simmons’ mentor. Philly would be the largest media market he’s ever played in, with the biggest and baddest practice facility in the league, and plenty of business opportunities for him. On paper, it makes sense. His reasons for wanting to go to the Lakers would be more vanity and destination than team-building. The Sixers could very well emerge from this season in a much more stable position than the Lakers… and they have their draft pick next year. I’m just saying– it’s hard to read all the Lakers speculation and not think that the Sixers would be an even better option. Even though it will likely never happen. COME AT ME.

 

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30 Responses

      1. And I would organize a march and protest rally outside your favorite pasta hangout, you greasy-head, spiced meatball eating POS. Now, if you’re feeling froggy greaseball, then I dare you to go ahead and leap!

  1. City of Champions!

    According to Kyle the Sixers will have LeBron; the Flyers will have McDavid; the Phillies will have Mike Trout and the Eagles already have the greatest quarterback in the history of football: Wentz.

    We’re going to be sick of all of the parades soon.

  2. Dats right Brotha!!! The world is taking notice of the great things going down in Philly and premier free agents are flocking to play here! Getting da draft here again will push us over da edge for best city ever!!@@@!!!

  3. It’ll never happen, but you would think that Lebron would want to stay in the East, where he would have a much easier path to the Finals.

    But if Lebron does bring his talents to South Philly, he could possibly still be winning rings while he’s in his eventual decline.

  4. Is that The Ringer article he cites is not just about the possibility of LeBron heading to the Lakers — it’s about LeBron heading to the Western Conference. And even beyond that, it is about LeBron heading to the Western Conference to play alongside Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony. Which means that unless Sam Hinkie secretly laid plans for the Sixers to switch conferences and use second round picks to trade for these other guys — cue Process Apologists going from 6 to midnight considering that possibility — this article is fan fiction click bait of the highest order.

    1. That’s not what the article is about. It focuses on him somewhere to build a winner and mentions LA, mostly with same speculation I do here. But if LeBron actually wanted to do this, Philly would give him best opportunity.

  5. I see fart’em out Fridays is in full swing, why the hell would LbJ think of coming to PHI

    1. Did Mike parisano tell you to write this so he can pretend he needs to find a house for him

      1. Thanks again for your support you fucking loser

    2. Thanks again for your support you fucking loser

  6. The Eagles would have won more games over the last 17 years with Brady at QB then all the dreck over that time span.

  7. This quite possibly might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. Kyle you should take that poop emoji you put on my face all the time and put it on yours. Hey I could do that for my next column!

  8. Has been added to the olympics for the 2020 games. Kyle could have written about this but instead chose to race bait and write idiotic Lebron fan fiction.

    1. Yeah I heard the cuz talking to Cube about this yesterday on the morning show, it sounds interesting. I’ll be checking it out. This yrs basketball season and playoffs kinda sucked, but basketball is still my favorite sport slightly edging out football.

  9. Why would you even write this post? Better question, why would you bother to read this post? LeBron James doesn’t even know that the Sixers play in the NBA. He might not even know that Philadelphia is a city in the US. That is how little the Sixers are on Lebron’s radar. Kyle is a f’n idiot and this site is garbage.

    1. You realize LeBron going somewhere would be about building a team to compete with Warriors, right? No other place gives him more flexibility to do so than Philly.

      1. In the NBA landscape Philly is a pile of dogshit. LeBron James is one of the Top 5 most famous athletes in the WORLD, he is a brand unto himself. He would play in LA if he’s leaving Cleveland again. The dude will 33 years old next year, He’s not looking to build something from the ground up in a small market (by NBA standards), like Philadelphia. Seriously, how are you making money off this blog?! You can’t be. You have to have a full time job as a bank teller or something right?

  10. Fuck this. Sign Curry THIS SUMMER and you can win the east next year. Fixes the PG and SG problem all in one.

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