James likely to opt for Golden State

CLEVELAND • With the National Basketball Association (NBA) season almost ending, the next soap opera is set to begin: Where will LeBron James be playing next season?

James, whose Cleveland Cavaliers trail the Golden State Warriors 3-0 in the NBA Finals, is a potential free agent on July 1. On Thursday, a day before the Cavaliers try to extend the NBA Finals when they host Golden State in Game 4, James praised the Warriors for their basketball IQ.

According to multiple media outlets, Golden State are a potential landing spot for James in free agency.

He could also join Western Conference runners-up Houston with NBA scoring leader James Harden, and Chris Paul, the Los Angeles Lakers guided by Magic Johnson, or Philadelphia with young stars Joel Embiid, 24, and Ben Simmons, 21.

James' former team-mate Chris Bosh feels the 33-year-old's next destination is likely to be Houston.

Speaking on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Bosh said: "It's like the next Avengers movie. Golden State with like 100 superheroes and then Houston with 100 superheroes and they fight. That's just what it's coming down to."

Phoenix's Jared Dudley and Minnesota's Jamal Crawford put their speculation on Twitter. Crawford tweeted James needed "another superstar (and more) against this juggernaut" with Dudley saying "my money is on @dmorey (Rockets general manager Daryl Morey)" and "Houston! The Warriors done force his hand."

James, lauding the Warriors, said: "In order to win, you've got to have talent, but you've got to be very cerebral too."

He added that all of the recent title teams with combinations of megastars - including his Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Warriors - have found success in part due to their smarts.

One of the Warriors' mainstays remarked about the possibility of James joining the club.

According to Sports Illustrated, forward Draymond Green said: "I think if LeBron James went to the Golden State Warriors, then there would be a high possibility I won't be here."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2018, with the headline 'James likely to opt for Golden State'. Print Edition | Subscribe