Why play with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid when you can run the floor alongside Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma instead?
I guess LeBron James was thinking more about the lifestyle and family and weather and business stuff when he decided to sign a four year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
But apparently he DID give Philly some thought, if you believe Sixers ownership.
Josh Harris, speaking from Vegas, was quoted in an ESPN article with the franchise’s first public comments about the LeBron pursuit that I’m aware of:
“I think they considered us very strongly,” Harris said of James’ group Monday at the Las Vegas Summer League. “I think he — I would be speculating on how he makes his decisions, and I don’t want to do that — but I think that they were really serious [about Philadelphia]. The fact that they took the meeting with us was something that they didn’t view lightly, so I think that they were very serious about it.”
That meeting, of course, did not feature LeBron, who was represented by his people instead, including agent Rich Paul, who also is Ben Simmons’ agent.
Harris also offered this bit about the strategy of pursuing free agents, which seems like a bunch of nothing but basically explains their attitude towards a Kawhi Leonard deal:
“Whether it be certainly a lot of the players you would trade for, there are risks that they are not going to be with your team, you don’t necessarily have them on a long-term contract,” Harris continued. “So we talk about this stuff endlessly and how to manage those risks. If the right situation comes where we can acquire somebody that will really add value to our program and the cost of it isn’t prohibitive, then we will move forward and do that. If that doesn’t come along for whatever reason, we will keep moving forward with our program. Just based on what we did this offseason, we are going to get better and move closer to our goal, which is that NBA championship that we keep talking to. If we get the right deal, we will do it.”
I wouldn’t do it, the Kawhi thing. Throwing assets at a one-year rental feels like a move that Bryan Colangelo would make, and it’s not a move this team needs right now. You’ve added some two-way wing depth (Chandler/Smith) to complement one of the best returning starting groups in the NBA. Kick the can down the road and look at 2019 free agency instead.