NBA Rumor Buy or Sell: Would LeBron James leave Cleveland for Los Angeles?


Welcome to CBSSports.com's Rumor Buy or Sell. With the the NBA season almost over and the offseason and draft slowly approaching, we'll break down any various trade or free agency rumors that come your way during the summer months.

The Rumor: 

According to Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, there are sources around the league that believe LeBron James could leave for the city of Los Angeles during free agency in 2018. The rumor is built around the idea that the Lakers acquire Paul George and are able to build a team that James could better win a championship on, or potentially joining the Clippers to team up with his well-known friends Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony.

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Is LeBron to Los Angeles in 2018 a real possibility?  USATSI

The Background:

James and the Cavs are currently down 0-3 in the NBA Finals. With the Warriors adding Kevin Durant last summer there's talk that Cleveland's current roster just isn't good enough. For a player like James, who is always willing to try and do what's necessary to win, there's potential he could leave Cleveland once again.

Everybody knows how close he is to Anthony, Wade, and Paul which makes the prospect of getting to play with them very enticing for him. He has a Los Angeles house and much of the entertainment industry that James is involved in is based in Los Angeles. There is great opportunity to increase his brand by living in Los Angeles

The Verdict:

Sell this and sell it hard. James decision to go to Miami and form a super team with Wade and Chris Bosh shocked the world. He shocked it again when he chose to come back to the Cavaliers and bring a championship to Cleveland. He succeeded at that and is local legend. There is no place he has greater influence than the Cavs.

With James influence and success in Cleveland a move to Los Angeles makes little sense for him. A chance to play with Wade, Anthony, and Paul does sound enticing but there would have to be a massive falling out in Cleveland for that to occur. Not only this, but the amount of money those four would have to pass on to play together feels unlikely to happen in 2018 when players like James and Paul have a chance to make the new "super max" contract. There just isn't enough reason for him to leave at this moment.

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