According to Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelbourne, the Miami Heat are viewing the Clippers as one the most serious threats to poach superstar, LeBron James from South Beach.
King James’ friendship with fellow superstar Chris Paul and his immense respect for the Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, makes one of the West’s stronger contenders a potential landing spot for James.
One player he would likely not be joining forces with is Blake Griffin. The Clippers do not have the cap space to sign James outright and according to Windhorst and Shelbourne, executives around the league believe that this would be the price, should LeBron decide to uproot, this offseason.
Even then, Los Angeles would still need to shed salary but if you have the opportunity to acquire the game’s best player – no disrespect to Kevin Durant, who will likely surpass James in the coming years – you make the necessary moves.
A Doc Rivers coached team, featuring Paul, James and DeAndre Jordan would be a nightmare for the rest of the league. Giving LeBron a young rim protector and CP3 another option to throw alley-oops to, would likely dominate the SportsCenter top 10 for years.
In addition to being able to receive more money from the Heat, who reside in an area where there is no state tax. Two things working against the Clippers are the fact that they play in a Western Conference that is currently loaded. While the East has many teams that are plotting their resurgence, beginning with the 2014 NBA draft and the rumors of Brooklyn attempting to lure Kevin Durant in 2016, the conference does not possess the same quality of contenders that the West does.
Secondly, James, who has matured to the point where what critics say is largely irrelevant to him, would face quite the backlash if he were to once again jump ship. If he went on to win championships in Los Angeles, there would always be those who would be quick to point out the route he took to win those rings. The question is, how much does that really bother a player who may retire as the best player of all time?
For now, LeBron is focused on this season and a rare opportunity at a three-peat. Accomplishing that goal is likely to ease the Heat’s worries to at least a small degree.
Looking at the Miami Heat schedule, today’s game against the Clippers will be the final matchup between these two teams so make sure to check it out if you get a chance.