Boston Makes Basketball Sense For LeBron

Gary Parrish believes LeBron James will become a Laker, but the Celtics might be his best bet

Taz and the Moose
June 13, 2018 - 10:24 am

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It remains to be seen where LeBron James will play in 2018-19, but it’s safe to assume he has a short list of teams in mind.

Heck, everyone else has one for him, so why wouldn’t LeBron?

“Yes, he’s too smart not to,” CBS Sports college basketball analyst Gary Parrish said on Taz & The Moose. If the whole world is thinking about this, it flies in the face of common sense to think he’s not also thinking about this. I think he has a good sense. I’m not sure he can’t be moved in a different direction. He might not know exactly what he’s going to do, but I think he probably knows exactly what he’s not going to do.”

Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles and Cleveland are among James’ likely destinations.

“I bet you his list isn’t quite as long as everybody else’s list,” Parrish said. “But I do think ultimately the Lakers are the destination.”

Perhaps, but from a basketball perspective, Los Angeles doesn’t offer James the best chance to win. No, that would be Boston, Parrish says.

“Here’s how it would go down,” he began. “People would say why would Cleveland do a deal with Boston? Because the alternative is losing LeBron for absolutely nothing. Let’s say Boston sends Gordon Hayward, Marcus Morris and a future No. 1 to Cleveland. Well, now you’re at least getting something back. And suddenly if you’re the Celtics, you’re trotting out a starting lineup of Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, LeBron James and Al Horford. That’s three players that were All-Stars in 2018, LeBron is the best player on the planet, two of the best rising stars in the world and maybe the best coach in the NBA right now in Brad Stevens.”

Boston also has a boatload of draft picks.

“They could have as many as four in 2019,” Parrish said. “They’re going to continue to add talented pieces. It would allow LeBron to extend his streak of Eastern Conference championships to nine, and I’m not certain a lineup Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, LeBron James and Al Horford with Brad Stevens coaching them – I’m not certain I wouldn’t pick them over the Golden State Warriors.”

The elephant in the room, of course, is Irving. He forced a trade to Boston specifically to get away from James. Now he would have to play with him again?

Well, maybe.

“If I’m Danny Ainge and this is what I want to do and it’s what LeBron wants to do, I tell Kyrie, ‘Get on board or don’t. You got one year left on your contract. We can move you for a different piece, and Terry Rozier showed up in the postseason,’” Parrish said. “If I’m Danny Ainge, I just tell Kyrie what Cleveland should have told him last summer: get on board, or don’t get on board. In Cleveland, they should have said, ‘We’re not moving you. You’ve got two years left on your contract. In Boston, they can say, ‘Get on board and be a part of the Eastern Conference favorites, or tell us you’re not and we’ll do our best to move you – but we’ll move you wherever we want to.”

Anywhere. Even a place like Sacramento.

“I think that could be resolved,” Parrish said of the potential Irving drama. “Boston makes a whole lot of sense to me. I don’t think it’s likely, but from a basketball perspective, I absolutely love it.”