LeBron James will be a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers for a minimum of four more games, as the Cavs will take on the Raptors in the second round of the playoffs. The series kicks off in Toronto on Tuesday night.
Once James’ season ends he will have the option to become a free agent, and if that’s sooner than later, he’ll have an awful lot of time to get a plan in place for how he will execute a potential move come July 1. LeBron won’t speak on his future right now, but there is rampant speculation about where he may consider signing, with four teams expected to be at the top of his list.
The Cavs, Sixers, Lakers, and Rockets all figure to make interesting cases for James, and his decision will come down to a variety of factors from where his family is comfortable, to which team can be an immediate contender, to the obvious financial factor. Each of those organizations offer something different regarding those three things, and you can make a case that any of the four would be the best fit for him on and off the court.
Basketball Hall of Fame member Scottie Pippen never made a major move in free agency when he was a player, staying with the Chicago Bulls for the first 11 seasons of his career before being dealt to the Rockets and, eventually, traded to Portland. His one free agency move was at the very end of his career when he decided to wrap up his time in the NBA with the Bulls.
Pippen spoke with Dime recently while on set for a video shoot for House of Hoops’ “Off the Record” series, and after explaining why the Warriors aren’t a dynasty, revealed why he would choose to stay in Cleveland if he were LeBron this summer.
“If I was LeBron I would opt into free agency but only to clear room for my team to be able to go out and sign other free agents,” Pippen says. “I think him staying in Cleveland is probably best for his career. I don’t think that at this stage of his career he can really afford to go play out West. If he made a change within the Eastern Conference, then he would probably have to look at what team he is feeling is up and coming, but for me, LeBron James is such a dominant player.
“I know he made the move to Miami, but he’s so great, he’s at the stage where he should embrace players who want to come play with him, and not where he needs to leave and go play with players,” Pippen continued. “He’s put his mark on the game. He’s proven to be a champion winner. I think that he should stay where he’s at and allow the system to work for him.”
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