The LeBron James next team conversation has spiked, following recent comments from Kyrie Irving. It’s certainly got the NBA community wondering where ‘The King’ might go if he was to leave La La Land.
In early June, Mavericks guard and former championship winning teammate of LeBron’s, Kyrie Irving, reportedly reached out to the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in an attempt to lure him away from the Lakers.
It’s a scary possibility for Los Angeles supporters, seeing LeBron James next team speculation rising, as the league great is coming off the back of an incredible season for the Lakers, which started with a 2-10 record and ended in a western conference finals appearance.
However, LeBron James left his career going forward up in the air following his comments in the Game 4 post-match press conference where he was quoted saying, “I’ve got a lot to think about to be honest just with me personally going forward with the game of basketball.”
Although these comments surrounding a potential retirement should be taken seriously, I think we can all agree that we haven’t seen the end of LeBron James on an NBA court.
The four-time league MVP has always wanted to play on the same team as his oldest son Bronny, who has recently committed to a college in the NCAA tournament.
But with so much up in the air when it comes to LeBron James next team chatter, let’s have a look at the four most realistic landing spots for ‘The King’ heading into the 2023/24 season.
LeBron James next team possibilities
LeBron James next team: Dallas Mavericks?
Starting us off has to be the Dallas Mavericks, following LeBron’s former Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving was reported to have reached out to the Lakers’ superstar to come join him across in Texas.
It would have the entire league on notice if he was to join the Mavericks with an all-time potential big three of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic.
Obviously, this trade would involve Dallas giving up their depth and future NBA Draft picks and could see them have to do what Los Angeles did in the 2021/22 season when they brought Russell Westbrook in and sign veteran players on their last legs.
Sources: Kyrie Irving has reached out to Lakers star LeBron James in attempts to see if James would come to Dallas. Irving is a free agent this offseason.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 5, 2023
Another hurdle is the fact that all three players are very ball dominant and could all realistically play the point guard position, which could prove to be a headache for head coach Jason Kidd who even struggled when the franchise brought in Irving in one of the greatest trade deadlines in NBA history, with the Mavs going on a 9-18 run to – quite controversially – miss out on the playoffs.
LeBron James next team: Cleveland Cavaliers?
It’s hard to not romanticise about a potential third stint for LeBron in his home state of Ohio with the Cleveland Cavaliers and it always emerges when LeBron James next team conversations happen, but how realistic is it?
Currently, the Cavs have one of the most exciting rosters, with youth at its core and potential bursting out of the seams.
And at the 2022 NBA All-Star weekend in Cleveland, James didn’t shy away from a return to the Cavaliers, saying that door isn’t closed.
“The door’s not closed on that…I’m not saying I’m coming back and playing, I don’t know. I don’t know what my future holds. I don’t even know when I’m free,” James said to The Athletic in February 2022.
LeBron James next team: Golden State Warriors?
The Warriors are another realistic destination in LeBron James next team conversations, with a few pros that could outweigh the cons.
Firstly, we know how important family is to LeBron, with his dream for about a decade now being that he wants to play with son Bronny who recently agreed to attend the University of Southern California.
Remaining in the same state where Bronny is attending college would have to play a significant role in determining a potential landing spot.
Additionally, James in on the record saying that the one player he wants to play with the most is Golden State’s sharp shooter Steph Curry (who has a new documentary on the way).
Salary cap space would be the hardest obstacle to overcome in this scenario with the Warriors already struggling to fit four-time champion Draymond Green in their roster.
Will Lebron James retire?
The ‘R’ word in sports is sad enough to hear but when it’s attached to LeBron James’ name, it’s even more emotional.
Many of the people within the NBA community are not ready to say goodbye to James this soon, which is ridiculous considering he has just completed season 20. But that just shows the impact he has had on all of us and the sport.
The four-time champion’s comments in his post-match press conference, after the loss to Denver in Game 4 sent the basketball world into a frenzy, stating that he has “a lot to think about” in regards to his playing future.
“We’ll see what happens going forward,” James said.
“I’ve got a lot to think about to be honest just with me personally going forward with the game of basketball. I got a lot to think about.”
We all hope this is not kept in the LeBron James next team conversations for much longer and the possibility is ruled out.
Will Lebron James stay at the Lakers?
Finally, the most likely of outcomes is for LeBron to stay put with the Lakers and ignore any external noise from other franchises hoping to pry him away from ‘home’.
The Lakers showed towards the back end of the season what they were capable of, stringing plenty of wins together and imagine what could have been had this team been assembled earlier.
Most likely with all this chatter about ‘LeBron’s next team’, the legend will try and leverage it to make the front office make calls that he believes is right.
The Lakers aren’t interested in what Dallas could offer in a trade for LeBron James, per @jovanbuha— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) June 5, 2023
“If Dallas is offering Luka Dončić for James, then yes, one would assume the Lakers will listen.” pic.twitter.com/016rfcBf3s
I guess all that’s left to do now is sit back and wait for LeBron’s next move; praying it’s not the retirement one.