In the biggest free-agency bonanza to ever hit the NBA, LeBron James is the first domino that has to fall before everyone else figures out their next move. From D-Wade all the way down to Brian Scalabrine, you could say every other free agent’s future will in some way be affected by LeBron’s decision.
With the official start of free agency set for 12:01 a.m. Wednesday night/Thursday morning, we decided to look at each team believed to be in the running for LeBron and delve into the reasons why LBJ would and wouldn’t (or should and shouldn’t) sign with them. Next up: The Los Angeles Clippers.
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When we began to divvy up teams for this series in our editorial meeting, I immediately jumped on the Clippers. Of the six teams that will dance in front of LeBron on Thursday like Birds of Paradise, the Clippers will have the most to offer LeBron basketball-wise from the start. Of course with the Heat, Bulls, Knicks, and Nets, LeBron could bring any sidekick with him and wreak havoc, but a starting lineup of Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, LeBron, Blake Griffin and Chris Kaman is an instant force.
Nonetheless, the Clippers certainly have the worst chance of signing LeBron of the six teams “in contention.” Most of this probably has to do with the fact that he will have to share the Staples Center with Kobe and he would also not be able to bring another free agent.
Still, LeBron wouldn’t be hearing them out if he didn’t have at least some interest in what they could offer. Here are the pros and cons:
PROS — Second biggest market after New York … Shared spotlight with Kobe for next 3-5 years and full spotlight afterward … Film and media opportunities for the actor hiding inside (Kazaam?) … Best current lineup of now of any of the potential suitors … Blake Griffin’s potential … Al-Farouq Aminu, DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe completes young core … Ability to choose his own coach.
CONS — Donald Sterling … The very real Clippers Curse … Competing for attention with Kobe … Donald Sterling … Dependence on how Griffin pans out … Playing in the tougher Western Conference … Unable to bring another max player … Donald Sterling.
ODDS — 30 to 1.