With the recent trade of Kyrie to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a first round pick from the Nets (As of 8/26 11AM pending physicals), the Cavs may be in a lot of trouble. People may think I am crazy for thinking that any team with LeBron James on it is actually in trouble, but the trouble does not actually lie in the 2017-2018 season. The problem lies in the 2018 offseason when LeBron and Thomas are both scheduled to be free agents, and Thomas is very likely to get a max contract. It is evident that LeBron loves Thomas, but he has been critical of Kevin Love, Kyle Korver, and also Deron Williams in his short tenure in Cleveland. Does LeBron trust the Cavs enough to stay there still after this season?
A lot of his decision in my opinion will depend on how the Cavs do this year against the Celtics. Also, if the Cavs can add the appropriate veterans in the middle of the season that LeBron believes in. If the Celtics can dethrone the King, he is likely to jump ship in my opinion and form another super team elsewhere because the Celtics are just getting started. The Celtics future is so promising that if the Celtics are dethroning the King now, then they are going to destroy him in the future when their young talent develops even further. The two teams I think LeBron could join include the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers. Both of these teams are historic franchises with young talent and a lot of cap space for LeBron to help orchestrate a nice super team of his own.
While I admit I am a little biased when I say this, but I believe the Lakers are a much better fit for LeBron. One reason is because veterans like Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Klay Thompson have all said they would love to potentially play for the Lakers. If they could play with LeBron James, the best player in the world, I believe all of them would consider that the perfect scenario would be to become a Laker. I do not believe all 4 of them could play together, but I think Westbrook, George, and LeBron playing together in LA next season may be more likely than everyone is anticipating. The Warriors are still going to be a force to be reckoned with along with the Rockets, Spurs, and potentially the Timberwolves, but these three along with players like Lonzo Ball, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram give the Lakers a serious chance to win an NBA Championship.
While a lot of things have to perfectly fall into place for this to happen, I think Magic is going to try like crazy to build this team that can immediately contend. The Lakers have had a rough few years now, but if all of this falls into place, they could go from worst to first in a hurry.
Where does this leave the Cavaliers in 2018 if LeBron leaves? I would like to believe Thomas signs a max contract to stay with the Cavs and play with his good pal Kevin Love, but the Cavs may elect to patch it up with a lot of cheap players and begin to rebuild. I would like to think the Cavs owe it to their fans to continue to try to win now, but a team with Thomas and Love is not enough to beat the Boston Celtics or even the Washington Wizards or Toronto Raptors for that matter.
Maybe I am just being an overly optimistic Laker fan, but I think there is an outside shot of a super team with LeBron in LA happening especially if the Celtics dethrone the King in the Eastern Conference. This 2017 NBA offseason was the best of all time, but the 2018 NBA offseason could truly be even better because of how many elite players are scheduled to be free agents in 2018.