LeBron James has the option to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and speculation surrounding his second potential Cleveland exit is running rampant. There is so much to sift through that it can be difficult to determine what’s legitimate, what’s agent posturing, and what’s complete nonsense.
For example, LeBron James bought a $23 million home in Los Angeles this week, and it took internet conspirators no time at all to determine that this purchase meant that he was signing with the Lakers this summer. James could sign with the Lakers this summer, but is buying a house in Los Angeles, a place a lot of NBA players own property, really an indicator of what he’ll do in free agency? Probably not.
Friday’s LeBron-James-to-Los-Angeles speculation comes courtesy of DallasBasketball.com’s Mike Fisher. Fisher did some dot connection surrounding Nerlens Noel’s upcoming surgery and free agency, along with revealing an “open secret” regarding the two Rich Paul clients.
Nerlens Noel and LeBron James are both represented by NBA super agent Rich Paul. Nerlens Noel has elected to have his thumb surgery in Cleveland, which is where James plays, obviously, but it’s also the location of Rich Paul’s offices. According to Fisher, “it’s kind of an open secret now that the fellas [LeBron James and Nerlens Noel] are plotting ways to end up together, maybe next July 1 via free agency to the Los Angeles Lakers.”
James and Noel teaming up certainly wouldn’t be the first time two NBA players with a prior relationship and the same agent tried to land on the same team, so while we don’t have much to go off of here, it’s within the realm of possibility. It makes sense. The Lakers’ aspect of all this is a little more difficult to understand and seems substantially more speculative.
For as much potential as Noel still has, would it make any sense for LeBron James to factor Noel into his free agency decision this summer? That seems a bit farfetched, doesn’t it? James has already admitted that he’s chasing Michael Jordan at this point in his career, and factoring in an unknown like Noel into your next destination isn’t getting you any closer to Jordan.