Even amongst the trade headlines revolving around Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony this offseason, the biggest story heading into the 2017-18 NBA season is whether LeBron James will be playing in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform come the season after next.
Rumors have picked up substantially over the past few months after the Cavaliers lost to the Golden State Warriors in last season’s NBA Finals, and with Irving creating drama after requesting a trade, the Cavs are on the cusp of a major meltdown if LeBron does decide to leave in free agency.
Los Angeles has been brought up multiple times as a frontrunner to sign James come the summer of 2018, but according to L.A Clippers star Blake Griffin, he thinks LeBron is more likely to be staying in the Eastern Conference, per the Sklar Brothers’ podcast, “View from the Cheap Seats:
“Honestly, I don’t see him coming to L.A. period,” Griffin said. “Listen, again, I have no idea [laughs]. I think something is brewing with him and his group of guys. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I think something’s brewing and they’re going to try to make that work.”
When Griffins refers to ‘his group of guys’, he is most likely pointing at the banana boat crew made up of James, Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. James has already mentioned publicly that he’d like to play on the same team as the other three one day, so it makes sense that Griffin would bring it up.
But Griffin went even further, suggesting that LeBron’s crew could eventually come together in New York, a team Carmelo Anthony already resides on, although shakily:
“I could see [LeBron] going to New York before L.A. I still think, when you go to the Garden, it’s a completely different feeling,” Griffin said. “The energy, there seems like there’s just a consistent buzz the entire game. … Even last year when you go play them, it’s still there.”
LeBron had been rumored to be heading to Madison Square Garden during the 2010 free agency period, before ultimately signing with the Miami Heat, but it’s fair to say the Knicks are a completely different franchise than they were seven years ago.
Tensions are at an all-time high between Anthony and Knicks’ management, as New York has made it known they want to build around budding superstar Kristaps Porzingis, while Melo only wants out of NY if he lands in Houston. But C’mon, let’s be real here for a second. I have no doubt that if LeBron was actually considering New York as a potential destination, he’d only be a phone call away from Carmelo to tell him to hang in there for one more season before he arrives.
Add onto the fact Chris Paul has yet to commit long-term to the Rockets, and Dwyane Wade is nearing a buyout with the Bulls to become a free agent in the coming months, and suddenly the stars are slowly aligning for the banana boat crew to finally join the same team.