LeBron James is the enemy, plain and simple. All of New England hates him, and because of that, we’ve been trying to poke holes in his game for years. The thing is, he’s still the best player in the game and it’s not close. Anyone that says they wouldn’t want him on their team is insane.
Now, I realize that he comes with some baggage. Typically, he is seen as the GM, and forces the teams he plays for to bring in the players that he wants. With the Celtics, that would not happen. Danny Ainge never got pushed around in his playing days, and would never let a player push him around as a GM either. There is a long game being played here, and they’re not giving it up, no matter what. So, in order for LeBron to work in Boston, he would have to be willing to take a back seat in team building decisions. I personally think he would be fine with that. The Celtics already have good young talent, and there’s no need to try to acquire any more big names. History may not be on his side of the argument, but it’s still a possibility.
There are two other hurdles: the salary cap and Kyrie Irving. Kyrie shot his way out of Cleveland because he did not want to play with LeBron, so I find it hard to believe he would want to play with him in Boston. They also need to clear money to be able to sign LeBron and stay under the cap. Trading Kyrie would actually solve both of those problems, you would free up the cap space and, obviously, Kyrie wouldn’t have to worry about playing with LeBron. The question the Celtics need to answer is whether they’d be willing to trade Kyrie. The issue is that, in order to get a draft pick from this year’s draft, the Celtics would have to trade Kyrie before they officially signed LeBron, making a trade involving Kyrie unlikely. Imagine if the Celtics traded Kyrie and then lost out on LeBron? They would have destroyed what they’ve worked so hard to build, all because they were pushing to make room for a guy who hadn’t committed to them yet. LeBron would be the most hated man in New England, with Danny Ainge not far behind.
All of these roadblocks point to the Celtics not having a realistic chance of signing LeBron. But I would hope, if he’s actually interested in coming here, that the Celtics do as much as they possibly can to get him on the team. He is, after all, the greatest talent in the history of the NBA.
Pat is the host of the Weekend Warrior Podcast
Interact with him on Twitter @wtplane