Our friend Sam Smith, who nows writes on Bulls.com after a stellar career covering the league for the Chicago Tribune, has a gut feeling LeBron James will end up signing with the Lakers when he becomes a free agent next summer. Now, you must remember that Sam likes to toss things out there without any facts to back up his theories. He admits this is another of those times, but he lays out the scenario this way:
“The Lakers certainly have no salary cap room. They are in no position to pay James, which remains the No. 1 priority for all free agents. James just has to explain to the Cavs he’s leaving. If they don’t accommodate him, he’s going to New York or Miami and they get nothing. But if they do in a sign and trade to save the franchise, they get a young, potential All-Star center in Andrew Bynum. Maybe Lamar Odom as well or Ron Artest. Draft picks, some pieces like Jordan Farmar. The Cavs can compete in the East with a star center and some pieces added to what they have. It’s better than nothing as cap room doesn’t mean anything in Cleveland. No one’s going there.
“Look, I believe James has no idea yet what he wants to do next summer. But I also believe the Lakers’ scenario makes the most sense for him if he wants a chance to be considered among the greatest winners of all-time. I believe that’s what he’s about now, and he accomplishes that only with the Lakers.”