Sam Smith Gazes Into His Crystal Ball And Sees Lebron James Signing With The Lakers

Disregard that the caption next to this picture of Sam Smith says that he writes exclusively for Bulls.com. Make no mistake, the man is a soothsayer. And he wants to take you on a journey that you never thought you would embark on.

Ready?  Let’s do it.

Well, at least I’m fairly sure now where LeBron James is going to be playing next season.

Didn’t I tell you the man is a soothsayer?

Los Angeles, most likely with the Lakers.

Say what now, Sam?

Stay with me a bit here.

Ok. Let me just put on my seatbeat. Ok Sam, have your way.

No, going to the Lakers makes all the sense in the world, and, at least to my view, fits LeBron better than it would other players of his caliber. Of which there’s basically only Kobe Bryant.

Not so sure about that, Sam. But I’m willing to listen. Seems that I don’t have much choice anyway. Proceed.

The obvious reason this never gets discussed is no one can see James hooking on with Bryant. I really cannot understand why not.
How good a team would that be with Bryant, James, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom? Supposedly it would look like James searching out a place to win a championship instead of lifting his team to one. Allegedly a no-no.
It’s not a no-no when you’re on the last leg of your career and you’ve realized that you can’t win a championship on your own. Lebron doesn’t fall under any of these categories. And yes Sam, that would be a good team. Mainly because they are good even withot Lebron.
But I’m supposed to be keeping an open mind about this. So proceed, Sam.

But Bryant is 31; James is 24. Bryant has probably three really high level seasons left before some sort of a transition. [……]

The Lakers are no sure thing to win the championship with the Celtics healthy and the Magic deep. But you add LeBron and it’s hard to imagine anyone beating them the next three or four years.

So then Kobe, working toward incredible immortality on the way to maybe 10 or 11 championships, backs off some to allow James to be the dominant figure when James is 27 or 28 and Bryant is looking at 35. Bryant could ease into a brilliant supporting role while the Lakers continue winning titles, and, in the end, like base hits, they count how many. Not how you got them.

Could work. Kobe will never go for this, but it could work.

Yes, James could go to Miami to join Dwyane Wade, and that’s possible. I’ve heard it speculated often and it puts James on the other side of the Finals from the Lakers with the Celtics having a short window. Of course, there is Dwight Howard.

You’ve heard it speculated many times, Sam because it probably would work better than the scenario that you’ve laid out so far. But, continue.

Also, James is a unique superstar because he’s a very willing passer, more so than virtually every league leading scorer. He doesn’t fight the double and seems to have trusted teammates from Day 1, a trait we never saw with Jordan or Bryant. I don’t think James would have any problem submerging his ego for Bryant’s for a while knowing full well his talent already is surpassing Bryant’s.

Noted. But even a 35 year old Kobe Bryant ego is bigger than most. In fact, I’m sure it still will be pretty big.

James has often talked about expanding his empire, and lately has been involved with books and movies. So where else but in L.A. would you want to be to be involved in the entertainment industry?

New York, Miami. And let’s not forget, Sam, it’s 2009. L.A. is just a plane ride away. But like I said, I have an open mind. Keep talking.

And, really, everyone wants to play in L.A. The weather is fabulous. You can be a star and have privacy because there are so many other stars. And then when you want to be a star you can because it is a city of stars. And basketball is by far No. 1, the only big city in the U.S. where you can say that. Plus, owner Jerry Buss knows stars sell and has been the most successful at recruiting and paying for stars.

I’ll go out on a limb here and say not everyone wants to play in L.A. No data to back that up. I’m just talking. Much like you are. But, proceed.

So how does it get done?

The Lakers certainly have no salary cap room. They are in no position to pay James, which remains the No. 1 priority for all free agents. James just has to explain to the Cavs he’s leaving. If they don’t accommodate him, he’s going to New York or Miami and they get nothing. But if they do in a sign and trade to save the franchise, they get a young, potential All-Star center in Andrew Bynum. Maybe Lamar Odom as well or Ron Artest. Draft picks, some pieces like Jordan Farmar. The Cavs can compete in the East with a star center and some pieces added to what they have. It’s better than nothing as cap room doesn’t mean anything in Cleveland. No one’s going there.
Well since you put it that way, Sam. I guess Lebron is going to sign with the Lakers.  I cleary no nothing and you’re clearly the one and only soothsayer supreme.

Will LeBron join Kobe in L.A.? (Bulls.com)

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