By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — With the Cavaliers in a 2-0 hole to the Warriors in the NBA Finals, the Summer of LeBron will begin soon enough.
James will hit free agency in the coming weeks, and according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, there are already seven teams that the four-time MVP will chat with this summer.
Brace yourselves, Celtics fans. Boston is on the list.
“He’s going to have a conversation with Boston,” Smith said on Wednesday’s edition of First Take.
The others teams James may bring his talents to this offseason are Philadelphia, Miami, Houston, L.A. (the Lakers), and Golden State, with a return to Cleveland not yet ruled out. If James ends up signing with the Warriors, Adam Silver may as well just cancel next season.
As for Boston, it’s an odd concept. Not that the Celtics wouldn’t be interested in adding the best player in the world right now (rather, the second-best, to Jayson Tatum of course), but the C’s don’t have much cap space for next season and would have to gut their roster for a second straight summer to make room for James. They also are set at wing with Gordon Hayward returning, Tatum a star-in-the-making and Jaylen Brown showing loads of promise in his second NBA season. Bringing in James would mean the Celtics have to move at least one of those players, which seems highly unrealistic at this venture. That is, unless James is willing to take a massive paycut and decrease his workload, which also seems unrealistic.
There’s also the fact that the Celtics currently employ Kyrie Irving, who asked out of Cleveland to escape James last summer. It’s doubtful that a change in laundry would keep LeBron from treating Irving like his little brother again, so Irving probably wouldn’t be too pleased with the move, which wouldn’t help Boston’s cause when he becomes a free agent next summer.
So don’t get too excited or overly upset about LeBron coming to Boston, because it’s not happening. He has a better chance at knocking off the Warriors in Houston, and as for Boston’s standpoint, James would improve the Celtics chances at a title next season, but at what cost? Is bringing in the face of the NBA worth overhauling a team that just made it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals without their two best players, especially a team with one of the brightest futures in the league?
The NBA offseason hasn’t even started and, once again, it’s already much more entertaining than the Finals. Gotta love the NBA. Here’s to hoping LeBron signs one-year deals for the rest of his career.