HOUSTON – The Golden State Warriors continued on Thursday to savor their victory in the 2018 NBA Finals – their third title in the last four years – as all eyes were on LeBron James, who played for the runners-up Cleveland Cavaliers and is being sought by all the teams after dropping hints about a possible move.
James, 33, has the option to change his team for the third time in his career, and can become an unrestricted free agent through an early termination option in his contract to choose where and with whom he wants to play, among the 30 teams in the league.
James himself has not given any clue regarding his possible choices, but the NBA circuit is abuzz with speculation, rumors and analysis regarding his possible choice.
Dwayne Wade, LeBron’s close friend and former teammate during his Miami Heat years, said that the search for another league title would not be the star’s only consideration and other factors, such as family, friends and even political commitments could also influence the decision.
In recent years, James has been vocal on issues such as police brutality, school shootings and discrimination against minority groups in the United States.
He returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 despite enjoying a lot of success with the Miami Heat – winning two of his three NBA titles there – and delivered on his promise to give his home city Ohio its first championship in 2016 after famously overturning a 1-3 deficit in the Finals with the Warriors.
James has reportedly had disagreements with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and general manager Koby Altman about the functioning of the team.
He no longer has anything to prove, with three titles to his credit and his legacy already secure, and he can consider the move with more freedom than ever during his career.
The future of his elder son Bronny, 13, who has already shown promise as a basketball player, including his training and development, could be a consideration.
The family’s opinions on where they want to live also hold weight as James would not want a repeat of 2010, when he had to leave his wife Savannah and their children in Ohio while moving to Miami.
The Washington Wizards has been touted a possible stop for the star, as the team is based in the national capital in addition to having an impressive line-up.
Sources close to the four-time MVP have said that a move to Washington DC could be a real option for him, both for off-court reasons such as a wider political reach and also as a launch pad to fight for more titles.