Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James is enjoying one of his best statistical seasons since joining the NBA as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft.
For the 2017-18 season, he has averages of 27.1 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game, and has been a magician with the basketball, averaging a career high in assists per game at a clip of 9.1 (3rd best in the NBA) while also shooting a career best 78.5% from the free throw line. Not to mention, he’s hitting almost two three point field goals per game at a clip of 39%.
After an egregious 5-7 start which included home losses to the Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, and the hapless Atlanta Hawks, the Cleveland Cavaliers are 2nd place in the East behind the new and improved Boston Celtics, who they lost to by a score of 102-88 on Wednesday evening at TD Banknorth Garden.
The team has won 20 of it’s last 26 games and look to be back to their championship contending selves. However, questions surrounding the team’s star player began to loom once more.
After a home win against the Portland Trailblazers on January 2nd, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert asked LeBron if he could commit to the franchise long term after the season concluded. James said he could not. With essentially two years left on his deal (in which he is due $35.6 million in 2019), he may want to weigh his options and possibly leave for a different team if the Cavaliers fail to get over the championship hump for a 2nd consecutive season.
Possible destinations for the King include the Houston Rockets, the youth movement driven Philadelphia 76ers, and by far the most notoriously linked and most notable possible destination to him, the Los Angeles Lakers, who are watching a youth movement of their own slowly continue to grow.
They have a lot of young talent. Kyle Kuzma is by far the steal of the 2017 NBA draft. Brandon Ingram is twice the player he was last year as a rookie. Jordan Clarkson is a stud and is the best 6th man in the NBA. Lonzo Ball has slowly, but steadily shown improvement.
Now while I don’t necessarily believe that this move is set in stone, rumours of LeBron James fleeing to L.A. have been abuzz since last off season. Shortly after the purchase of his 2nd home in the Los Angeles area and a “candid” conversation between he and Lonzo Ball after a primetime tilt in Cleveland in December, the rumours are flying madly like never before.
Not to mention, this current Cleveland Cavaliers team is very…..seasoned. LeBron James left the Miami Heat after their 2014 NBA Finals loss against San Antonio in fear that the team could no longer chase hardware and was too old. To our recollection, it looks as he was telling the truth. The average player age is 29 years old (28 years, 319 days to be exact).
Polar opposite with the Lakers. This team is extremely young with 12 players being under the age of 25 (2nd youngest team behind the Chicago Bulls) and are very talented. The consistency part is what still lacks with this team. They are currently 11-26 and last place in the Western Conference after suffering a 37 point thrashing at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
This off season in particular, however, is certain to be a thriller. Especially if things don’t lean in favor of Cleveland this June. Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen.