The latest and greatest topic on the NBA rumor mill is that the Houston Rockets could potentially land LeBron James. And it would be a good move for The King.
There’s a whole lot to say about LeBron James.
He’s a four-time MVP, three-time NBA champion, 13x All-Star and he’s made an appearance in the last seven NBA Finals. On the all-time list, LeBron ranks the highest of the current NBA players, and it isn’t even close.
With his decision to take his talents to South Beach in 2010 followed by his announcement that he was coming home in 2014, LeBron has shown that his decisions are powerful enough to shift the entire NBA landscape. He helped take the Heat from an average team to four straight Finals appearances and he took Cleveland from obscurity to the heights of the basketball kingdom.
LeBron refuses to discuss free agency, as they’re more pressing concerns for The King to attend to. But according to Sam Amick of USA Today, many executives around the league think that Houston has a chance at landing James.
While James has made it clear that he won’t deliberate his uncertain future until the Cavs’ season is complete, there is strong belief in Rockets circles that they’ll have a legitimate shot at landing the four-time MVP this summer. Rival executives also believe the Rockets will have a real chance.
Why Houston makes sense for LeBron James
The Rockets shouldn’t have to do too much persuading, because their play is convincing enough. At 20-4, the Rockets have the NBA’s best record, the leading MVP candidate, and arguably the league’s best backcourt.
The Rockets don’t have many holes in the current roster that LeBron would be expected to patch up. Houston is second in offensive rating, fifth in defensive rating, first in 3’s made per game, 12th in rebounds, third in steals and 14th in blocks. Sure, the Rockets would need to trade away some assets for LeBron, but his talent would more than make up for their absences.
Now, let’s consider the talent level of James Harden. The Beard has been a superstar since he first set foot in Houston, and he has raised his level of play year after year. This season, Harden is averaging a league leading 32.3 points, to go along with 5.3 rebounds, 9.2 assists and 1.7 steals on 46.2 percent shooting from the floor and 40.6 percent from 3-point range. Harden, like LeBron, can do everything offensively for a team and they would form the scariest one-two punch in the league.
And we haven’t even talked about Chris Paul yet. LeBron and Paul have a friendship that goes back quite sometime, and if Dwyane Wade tags along too, the Rockets would have three-fourths of the Banana Boat Crew. Paul is also perhaps the best passer in the NBA, he can space the floor, and he is one of the best defensive guards in the league.
LeBron James wants to win now
There have already been a lot of rumors stating that LeBron is eyeing the Lakers or the 76ers, but those moves don’t make any sense. The Lakers aren’t a playoff team, and the Sixers are a second-round exit in the East if we’re being optimistic.
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LeBron James has already stated that he’s chasing the ghost that is Michael Jordan. At this point, the biggest distance between The King and His Airness is rings, and LeBron could close the gap in Houston. If LeBron went to Los Angeles as the roster is currently constructed, they wouldn’t be the favorites to make it out of the East, let alone the West.
And lets not forget that by the time next summer roles around, James will be six months away from his 34th birthday. LeBron, even at almost 33 years old, is holding off Father Time as he continues to dominate this young man’s game. But age will eventually catch up to LeBron, as it does to every athlete, and that’s why he will join the team that is most equipped to win now.
When you look at the teams that are in line for The King’s services, there would be no better team for him than the Houston Rockets. Also, Houston’s stars would be more likely to take a pay cut to accommodate LeBron’s salary, because Texas doesn’t have a state income tax. The more you think about it, the more obvious it becomes that the Rockets are LeBron’s best fit. LeBron, Harden and Paul would be a dream trio for the Rockets and a nightmare for the rest of the NBA.