Latest News, NBA, Pat's Sixers Blog / May 18, 2010 / 10:30 am

5 Reasons LeBron James Will Sign With the New Jersey Nets

LeBron James will be a New Jersey Net next season. No source has told me that and I don’t have any secret information – it just makes way too much sense for that move to not happen. The situation for LeBron and the Nets is a great fit as is; one or two things falling into place would make it an absolute homerun for everyone involved (James, the Nets, the NBA).

Here’s how the (very plausible) scenario breaks down, without mentioning a Jay-Z friendship one time:

1. John Wall: The first step to LeBron’s path to the Nets happens tonight in lovely Secaucus, N.J. The Nets will show up to the NBA Draft Lottery and most likely walk away with the No. 1 overall pick, which, for this team, would almost certainly be John Wall.

Do not discount what Wall would mean to LeBron. In non-All-Star or Team USA settings, can you think of the best point guards James has played with in Cleveland? Mo Williams is far and away the best point guard employed by the Cavs since LeBron came into the League. And while Mo is nice, they’re not exactly reserving a space for him in Springfield. After Mo, it’s grim; the best runners up are Eric Snow and Jeff McInnis. Seriously. The only other PG draw in this free agent situation is Derrick Rose and Chicago, but in the grand scheme of things, the Nets scenario with Wall is much more appealing.

And if they don’t get the No. 1 pick? Evan Turner is not a bad consolation prize.

2. John Calipari (or Coach K or Tom Izzo or …): I know there are rumors flying everywhere right now about Cal/LeBron being a “package deal” for the Bulls or the Nets. That’s not out of the question. But package deal conspiracies aside, why wouldn’t the Nets initiate a package deal themselves to facilitate landing LeBron and an elite coach? Why wouldn’t the Nets right now be talking to Calipari’s people, Coach K’s people, LeBron’s people and whoever else might make this a win-win situation for both sides? We know Coach K and LeBron are tight after their Team USA runs and we know that Coach K has come close to leaving Duke for the NBA at least once, maybe twice in recent years. He’s coming off a title run at Duke where part of him must now be feeling like he’s done everything he can ever do in Durham. He’s clearly ultra competitive – why wouldn’t he want more? Why wouldn’t he be open to a new challenge? Why wouldn’t he want that challenge to include building something amazing with LeBron James in New Jersey/Brooklyn?

3. Brook Lopez: Lopez being a huge draw for LeBron is actually the part of the scenario that gets the most incredulous reaction from people, especially when I drop this: Not only would Lopez right now be the best big man LeBron has ever played with, but in 2-3 years, Lopez will also be one of the Top 3 big men in the entire NBA. A roster that features LeBron, Lopez and Wall (as well as Devin Harris, Courtney Lee and Terence Williams) is better than the Knicks (even if they sign two prime free agents), Bulls and Heat.

4. Newark and Brooklyn: Waiting two years to play in Brooklyn is clearly a drawback, and if the team had to continue playing at the Meadowlands there would probably be zero chance of LeBron even considering the Nets. But they’re not playing in IZOD Arena anymore, they’re playing in Newark at the Purdential Center for the next two years. That’s a nice arena in a semi-city, that’s actually closer to New York than the Meadowlands, and can offer all of the access to NYC the LeBron would crave until the domination from Brooklyn begins.

5. The Russian Billionaire: Did you see the “60 Minutes” story on this guy? Mikhail Prokhorov is most definitely not messing around. He has deep pockets and swagger for days. He’s no doubt the kind of guy LeBron would want to align himself with and Prokhorov wouldn’t have purchased the worst team in the NBA if he wasn’t committed to doing whatever it takes make his franchise a force. He is not going to be afraid to spend money to get LeBron the help he wants or needs to win multiple NBA titles.

Clearly, some things have to come together for this scenario to play out but I think it’s a lot more plausible than you might think. With the Lottery odds in their favor tonight, the biggest wildcard would seem to be the coaching situation. LeBron or no Lebron though, I would hope that the Nets are going to be wildly aggressive in their coaching search, instead of settling for yet another veteran coaching re-tread like most teams seem to do.

All in all, the Nets scenario just makes too much sense to me. It’s more appealing than Miami or Chicago (or anywhere else where the G.O.A.T.’s shadow looms large). The only real competition in the LeBron Race would be the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. NYC and MSG are true draws for sure, but if LeBron is willing to see the big picture, he could potentially contend for a chip with New Jersey before they even move to Brooklyn.

What do you think? Can you picture LeBron signing with the Nets?

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  • dvs

    The Nets would be a good move. But so would Chi town, so would Miami, so would NYC, so would going to the Clippers (as funny as it sounds)
    So many good options.
    I’d go to the Nets if I were him. Once they’re in Brooklyn,
    that would be the best spot…

  • kp10

    i think he wont go cuz he wants to win now and not be on a rebuilding team starting from scratch cuz he knows the nets even with mentioned players cannot win a championship. He has to go to a team that is missing that 1 thing…like the Magics or Suns…not necc the suns but the magic would do. nba stars should stop worrying bout money and play the game for the love and the desire to win a championship.

  • The Journeyman

    Yahoo Sports is claiming he has shown very strong interest in playing for the Wizards.

    As a local DC native that would be incredible.

    (Please note that some parts of this story may be wildly exagerated)

    P.S. We hate LeBron

  • http://dimemag.com/2010/01/daily-fantasy-diagnosis-1-20/#more-30658 Mike

    As Bill Simmons said LeBron will go to whatever he wants. You could do sign and trade

  • Alex “robocop” Murphy

    You have to remember the Nets before Jason Kidd came. They were a ~30 win team with Marbury, Van Horn (99 #2 pick) , Kittles, Kenyon Martin (#1 pick 2000). And they sucked. They got a new coach in 2000 with Byron Scott. 2001 they brought in Jason Kidd, and through the draft traded Eddie Griffin for Richard Jefferson and Jason Collins and contended for the NBA championship that year.

    I see Lebron doing that for NJ again. Coming in and automatically making the talent around him better. They just need a couple more shooters and bangers.

  • dmitry of jersey

    Yeah would be amazing.

    Lebron + John Wall + whoever we get for Devin Harris .. that’s the kind of solid team that could make a run for th title, esp with another good big man to compliment Brook.

    That said, I dont think Lebron is leaving shitty Cleveland for shitty Newark. It’s going to be either Chicago or NY.

  • jonny taise

    we could use him here in Adelaide.

  • jay

    first off i agree..the nets would be the best move for him if he does leave the cavs. should he …no! but that being said..if lebron leaves for chi ..great..he gets his city but do he and rose automatically beat boston or orlando..i am not sure. the nets is very interesting and if bron felt pressure in cleveland..he does not just have one chip but match 6 by his airness?? tall feat..we shall see. i guess we get an idea tonight..go nets..get wall!

  • Jah

    LeBron will play in Chicago next for the following reasons:

    - He does not want to play for head coach Mike Brown again. He did not want to play for Coach Brown this year, but since he won the Coach of the Year award, the Cavalier organization couldn’t “just replace him”

    - He does want to play with Delonte West (the rumor…)

    - He cares about his public image and knows that should he leave Cleveland for ANY other team than the Chicago Bulls, he will be seen as a villain…he can “reasonably” avoid the villain tag by playing in Chicago, claiming that (like so many other people in our age group) that he became a HUGE Chicago Bulls fan during Jordan’s reign

    - His jersey number change from #23 to #6 was calculated because going to Chicago would obviously call for a number change since M.J.’s jersey is retired

    - He knows that the move to Chicago would be beneficial, playing with a solid core already there, and free agents will be clamoring to fill in the pieces to play there with him

    - not N.J., N.Y., L.A. or Cleveland, but Chi-Town!

  • ERIC

    1 – The team with the best odds of landing the #1 pick has only happned like 4 times in the last 15 years.

    2 – college coaches have NOT made elite NBA coaches

    3 – Brook Lopez is pretty ridic – best young big behind D12 and Bynum

    4 – If anyone read espn chris sheridan’s chat yesterday, he alluded to a fact not many are discussing. with NY construction, 2 years usually means 3-4 years…LeBron ain’t playing in Newark for 2-4 (not hating, im from NJ)

    5 – New Russian billionaire isnt the only owner with deep pockets, willing to spend. The Knicks, Cavs, Mavs have shown this ability.

  • dmitry of jersey

    @Eric
    good point about the construction delays

    people get a bit carried away with Brook tho. He is legit but top3? Not sure since he routinely gets beasted by elite centers. Bogut completely owned him this season… i think Brook is still 2 years away from his prime, and there are doubts about him having a killer Eff You instinct like the top players all have.

  • ay yo.

    I don’t know why people think as soon as he lands on a team, that team is gonna win it all that coming season. Every team he lands on, will be in re-building. It’s gonna take time for everyone to get used to playing with LBJ, and vice versa. I think for the longest term, the Nets would be the best choice. They have the best, youngest core, and you can’t win without a elite big these days. The only with one is NJ, and Brook is only 21!!

  • b$

    Eric Snow was soooo much better than Mo Williams. Let’s not forget Snow played in the NBA finals twice. While Mo might be able to shoot threes and occasionally drive the hoop and make a decision, Snow was a master defender and ball distributor. Didn’t do much of the flashy stuff, but DEFINITELY didn’t disappear in the playoffs and have 1-9 shooting games repeatedly.

    Don’t have much else to say, but let’s just be clar that Mo Williams is not “nice” and that Eric Snow was actually a high level player who was a starter on winning teams for the majority of a 15 year career.

  • Patrick Cassidy

    @b$ –

    You’re not going to find a bigger Eric Snow fan than me. The guy battled through the 2001 Playoffs for my Sixers on a fractured ankle. The guy was a warrior.

    But comparing him to the potential of John Wall? Not even close.

  • http://www.paxtonavenue.com DGtheEnigma

    As long as no one writes that where ever LBJ goes will be based on “winning championships”, it’s all good.

    LBJ’s decision will be based on being a “mogul”, not a “champion”…

    Honestly, who gives a shit where he goes? As long as he makes a decision snappy so the rest of the free agents can make their choices.

  • Alex “robocop” Murphy

    Personally I consider Andrew Bogut the second best center in the East. Lopez has shown potential but he isn’t a defensive anchor or anything. He’s just pretty much solid right now with potential.

  • Celts Fan

    @Eric – Brook is already better than Bynum (gotta factor in injuries since that’s not a 1-time thing w/ Andrew but a pattern)

    @dmitry – Dwight Howard has ZERO Eff You Instinct, but he’s fine. I think that aspect’s over-rated. It can be a solid characteristic, but it’s not a make or break thing…

  • s.bucketz3

    Lebron’s not goin anywhere cuz an unproven 19 year old rookie is going there along with a rookie nba coach brought up from college…its a whole different ball game coachin NCAA and NBA

  • http://www.designbydesmond.com My Favorite Superhero

    Breaking News: The Sixers and the Cavs agree to trade Iguodola and Dalembert for Lebron in a sign and trade this off season

    Breaking News: Lebron signs with the Spurs

    Breaking News: Lebron gets traded to the Thunder

    Breaking News: Lebron retires and plays in a rec league at the Y in Mississipi

    Enough already….let’s just wait and see what happens…No team, other than the Knicks, have made any moves that designate them as a suitor

  • Celts Fan

    @Alex – exactly! The East centers goes:

    1. Dwight
    (HUUUUUUUUUUUGE GAP)
    2. Bogut
    3. Brook
    4. Horford (he’s barely better than Brook right now, but I give the edge to Brook since Horford’s prob more of a 4 while Brook is a legit 7 footer.)
    5. Noah? Bargniani? Perk? Does it really matter?

  • Chaos

    Chicago and NYK would be the most likely places but as far as building a team and good places to go would be NJ or LAC….you cant tell me he wouldnt wanna play with Baron, Gordon, Griffin, Jordan, Outlaw and Kaman (he could fill in for Big Z since they seem so similar). LAC doesnt have the elite scorer on their team. That would go a long way and he’d be in LA but he’d be competing with Kobe that may or may not work because Kobe aint gonna let NOBODY coem to his city and take his spot. NJ would need 2+ years to build a championship squad but good foundation with Harris (assuming he doesn’t go anywhere), Lopez and under the radar Terrance Williams. T-Will is going to turn into Andre Igoudala 2.0 with his all around skills and athleticism. they just need to put a better team around lebron (lee and cdr are better coming off the bench and Yi is overrated).

  • D.I. Dollar

    That’s a whole lotta if’s.

    Lebron has to show that he can help develop the talent around him and until he does NY and NJ are big time gambles for him. He needs to go somewhere where the other players are almost there without him like the Bulls or the Clippers if he was smart. If all he cares about is money and being the focal point of the offense then he can go anywhere and play in oblivion for the remainder of this contract. Hopefully he’s watching Kobe and some of that team/winning first and numbers second mentality is sinking into his brain.

    We will soon find out.

  • dmitry of jersey

    Celts Fan

    I would not say Dwight has zero Eff You instinct. he’s been more serious this year and even last year Eff You’d on the Cavs big time.

    Look i’m a Nets fan and I’m looking forward to teh Brook Lopez era. He needs to start taking shit personally and not let opposing centers keep dropping 25-15 on his face. That was the most frustrating part of the Nets season thisyear (aside from the 70 losses)… watching him put up 20-10 while Bogut, horford etc put up 25-15

  • dmitry of jersey

    Celts Fan

    I would not say Dwight has zero Eff You instinct. he’s been more serious this year and even last year Eff You’d on the Cavs big time.

    Look i’m a Nets fan and I’m looking forward to teh Brook Lopez era. He needs to start taking shit personally and not let opposing centers keep dropping 25-15 on his face. That was the most frustrating part of the Nets season thisyear (aside from the 70 losses)… watching him put up 20-10 while Bogut, horford etc put up 25-15

  • http://diaryofatiredblackman.wordpress.com/ Cal

    One reason he won’t…HES NOT GOING TO WAIT IN NEWARK!!!!!

    http://diaryofatiredblackman.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/lebronapalooza/

  • http://facebook.com/togstadlives Jeremiah Togstad

    This was the writer’s only explanation why Lebron would rather play with Wall than Rose: “The only other PG draw in this free agent situation is Derrick Rose and Chicago, but in the grand scheme of things, the Nets scenario with Wall is much more appealing.”

    What does that even mean? You need to explain WHY it would be a better fit with LBJ and J-Wall. I think Wall is gonna be a nice player, probably an All-star, but Rose is already a proven commodity. Merely concluding that Lebron would rather play with Wall than Rose is not enough – you need to explain why. Unfortunately no one knows what Lebron is gonna do, so all this predicting is useless.

  • Mike

    ONE THING TO REMEMBER: THE NJ FRANCHISE SUCKS! NOT JUST AS A TEAM THIS YEAR, BUT IN GENERAL. THEY MADE THE FINALS TWO YEARS IN A ROW AND LOST MONEY AS A FRANCHISE DURING THOSE SEASONS. LBJ NEEDS TO GO TO A LEGITIMATE ORGANIZATION LIKE THE BULLS.

  • Hectowr

    Brooke Lopez had nice stats because there’s NOBODY in the Nets. I MEAN NOBODY. Harris is always injured. The Knicks are getting Bosh and LBJ will sign with the Knicks. Period!

  • http://blurayreef.com BluRayReef

    LeBron will end up surprising us all with his pick. There is no way to tell what is going through his head. Just have to wait and see.

  • Whatdahec

    The Nets will most likely walk away with the 1st pick in the draft??? I’m not sure what data you’ve been checking out but the last time the WORST team ended with the no. 1 pick in the NBA Draft was 2004 with Orlando. So NO, the Nets are pretty much a lock not to get John Wall…from there I don’t see any of your other points coming to fruition…

  • http://diaryofatiredblackman.wordpress.com/ Cal

    Guys look. Have you ever been to NEWARK?!?! Lebron is not going to New Jersey. It’s not happening!!

    http://diaryofatiredblackman.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/lebronapalooza/

  • Michael Kay

    LeBron wouldn’t mind waiting in Newark. The Prudential Center is nicer than Quicken Loans Arena and with him on the team they would sell out every game

  • Heckler

    i’ve said on here for 2yrs that LeBrons best situation is the NJ Nets. and lots of yall punk muthafuck*s laughed at me. now look. all yall jocking media BS reports about chicago and NJ.

    but lets be real, he aint going to NJ Nets. he aint no little brother. and thats the same reason he aint going to the LA Clips.

    he asked the league permission to change his jersey number. that in itself lets you know he plans on returning to cleveland.

    as a FA, you do not need NBA permission to change your jersey number. once you switch teams (via FA or trade) your automatically allowed to change your number.
    (ex: Kevin Garnett went from #21 in Minnesota to #5 in Boston after his trade. he did not need league approval).
    hence…a player only needs approval when changing their jersey number to stay on the same team.

  • sh!tfaced

    Reason No. 6
    He’d rather have Mikhail Prokhorov banging LeGILF…

  • mono

    HAHAHAHAHA Reason No.1 can be flushed down the toilet now. NJ with the 3rd pick. No John Wall = No LeBron.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Tim

    Well…looks like the Nets aren’t getting John Wall…

  • WRB43

    Yo, Lebron will sign with Charlotte, along with D Wade and Phil Jackson. Nike will foot the bill if the organization can’t come through…..just and outside theory….

  • Beau

  • Jo

    Lmao @ Mono

    read the article about Charles Oakley he’s lives near lebron and is a good friend and mentor he said the only two teams he will go to is chi or miami

    Do u really think Wade and can do it by them selves…HELL NAW
    the bulls will get him and trade for cap room if need be and get Wade or bosh or Joe but he goin to the bulls period.

    Lmao Charlotte lol yea ok