We're still two months away from the start of the NBA season, but we already know what the biggest storyline of 2017-18 will be: Will LeBron James leave Cleveland again?
Every time the Cavaliers go on a losing streak, or LeBron gets into a tiff with a teammate or the coaching staff, the questions will arise once again. LeBron has the ability to become a free agent at the end of next season, and there have already been reports that he's at least considering leaving the Cavs, possibly for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now that Chris Paul is in Houston, Blake Griffin is the unquestioned face of the Clippers franchise. On the Sklar Brothers' podcast, "View from the Cheap Seats," Griffin explained why he doesn't think he'll eventually have to share a city with LeBron. Griffin said "I don't see that happening," when the idea of James joining the Clippers was mentioned, and then added his thoughts on LeBron going to the Lakers.
"Honestly, I don't see him coming to L.A. period," Griffin said. "Listen, again, I have no idea [laughs]. I think something is brewing with him and his group of guys. I don't know what's going to happen, but I think something's brewing and they're going to try to make that work."
By "group of guys," Griffin is likely referring to the banana boat crew made up of James, Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. James has already mentioned publicly that he'd like to play on the same team as his group of friends one day, so it makes sense that Griffin would bring it up. But Griffin went a step further, suggesting that LeBron's crew could eventually come together in New York.
"I could see [LeBron] going to New York before L.A. I still think, when you go to the Garden, it's a completely different feeling," Griffin said. "The energy, there seems like there's just a consistent buzz the entire game. … Even last year when you go play them, it's still there."
There was considerable buzz that James would join the Knicks during his 2010 free agency before he made "The Decision" to join the Heat, but the Knicks are in a much different place now. They've reportedly been trying to trade Anthony to begin building around Kristaps Porzingis, but Anthony has let it be known that he'll only waive his no-trade clause to go to Houston.
That being said, we're talking about LeBron James here. If he makes a phone call to Carmelo and says "hold tight, I'll be there next summer," it's safe to say that Anthony won't accept a trade to any team. Paul has yet to commit long-term to the Rockets, and Wade is expected to be bought out by the Bulls and become a free agent at some point in the coming months. If the four stars actually do have "something brewing," as Griffin suggests, the timing could work out for them to make their own version of a superteam in 2018.
Wink of the CBS eye to Uproxx