Could the Lottery Impact Where LeBron Goes?
While much has been made of the possibility that LeBron James would play with the Nets with John Wall (which after the way they played this past season would qualify as a miracle). But New Jersey isn’t the only that could benefit with tonight’s lottery. I think plenty of significant draft decisions could come into play with teams jockeying for position with LeBron James.
Late lottery teams like the Rockets or Hornets could use a high lottery pick (or young players they don’t need if say the Rockets win the Wall Sweepstakes) to pair with big contracts to make enough cap room to pursue LeBron. I don’t see the Hornets in the mix, given the uncertainty of Chris Paul’s future, but the Rockets could be an interesting option. They have some good young players, but could use some star power to replace McGrady/Yao.
One team I would love to see him on would be the Grizzlies since that team is built perfectly for LeBron. They have athletic big men in Gasol and Randolph who wouldn’t necessarily clog the lane, and decent 3-point shooting guards in Conley and Mayo. Also Conley has improved his game as a point guard, but isn’t the type that needs to handle the ball in the half court. With a couple more 1st rounders they would have one of the best young and talented benches in the league as well. They could even use Rudy Gay in a sign and trade swap with Cleveland to get the best deal for both players. Alas, I don’t think they will make the moves needed to acquire LeBron (and not sure he would go to a smaller market city).
While there are some in Washington hoping the Wizards could get into the market for LeBron by landing John Wall, they are just fooling themselves. A Wall, Arenas, Blatche starting lineup sounds intriguing, and the city and market are a good fit for LeBron, but there is no way he is going to come to this dysfunctional franchise right now, with or without Wall.
The Clippers could already be an interesting team for LeBron. It gives him a great market, and him and Kobe can battle it out for bragging rights in the Staple Center. The Clippers have an interesting starting rotation, that LeBron could fit perfectly into. And that is without what happens with tonight’s lottery. I think things could get very interesting if the Clippers do win the top pick in the draft. While Baron Davis is a good veteran point guard, they have to take John Wall and have an Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin and Wall nucleus (not to mention Chris Kamen). But they can only do so if they know they can trade Davis and get equal value in return. If they can manage that James would have the perfect storm to create a winning environment for the Clippers (also he’d have a much better supporting cast than the Cavs ever gave him).
Finally that brings us to the Nets. While it would seem like LeBron going to the worst team in the league would be a mistake, it does make some sense. The Nets will be moving to the city pretty soon, so the market is perfect for James. Also they have an emerging star at center in Brook Lopez (though maybe not the best fit for LeBron’s game), and some solid role players. They also have the best odds of winning tonight’s lottery (25%) which could bring Wall to town. The addition of Wall would allow them to move PG Devin Harris for a usable piece or two. A Wall-James-Lopez lineup would make the Nets instant contenders. I don’t see LeBron heading to New Jersey without Wall, but if New Jersey wins the lottery tonight, don’t be surprised if they win it again come July 1st.