The closer we get to the start of free agency, the more and more rumors will come out regarding the biggest names in the NBA. LeBron James will continue to be at the center of all these rumors. We’ll continue to hear which team is interested in signing LeBron and which superstars are going with him. We’ve heard of all his possible destinations; Houston, Philly, LA, Boston, and even Golden State. But there’s one organization that isn’t getting enough attention and could be a serious dark horse to sign LeBron James this summer: the San Antonio Spurs.
Let’s start with this; none of this will be possible if Kawhi Leonard isn’t guaranteed to stay in San Antonio long-term. At this point in LeBron’s career, he’s signing somewhere to win now, not in hopes of being championship contenders in a few years.
Have people forgotten how good Kawhi Leonard is? Since he’s taken the year off due to injury, people may have forgotten how dangerous the former 2x Defensive Player of the Year and Finals MVP winner really is. When healthy, I’d argue that Kawhi Leonard is up there with Kevin Durant for second and third best players in the league. Right now it’s hard to say Kawhi’s a top-3 player because of his year off and the other superstars who have made huge jumps this past season, but we’re talking about a 100% healthy Kawhi Leonard. This is a man who is arguably the only NBA player who can guard LeBron. This man is the best two-way player in the NBA. He’s a champion and happens to be coached by one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, Gregg Popovich.
That brings me to my next point: Gregg Popovich would turn LeBron James into a player he never thought he could become. Let’s think about this for a second. We’re always so ready to compare NBA greats and their legacies, but there’s one thing LeBron hasn’t had that Jordan and Kobe have: a generational coach. MJ and Kobe had Phil Jackson, who is arguably the greatest coach ever, as their head coach during their championship runs. LeBron had Erik Spoelstra. I’m not trying to take anything away from Spoelstra and all he’s done for Miami, but he didn’t become relevant until LeBron began his run with Miami. Spoelstra is a great coach, but LeBron has never had a coach as excellent as Gregg Popovich.
Besides LA and possibly Philly, I would respect LeBron’s decision to go to a team like San Antonio. He’s not joining a superteam, but a well-run organization who could accomplish amazing things with the King. A starting lineup of Dejounte Murray, Danny Green, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and LaMarcus Aldridge coached by Pop would be a thing of beauty.
…ALSO (HOT TAKE ALERT), by joining San Antonio, LeBron will have his Scottie Pippen. LeBron had Dwade in Miami, but Dwyane Wade was never near the two-way player Kawhi Leonard is. LeBron and Kawhi are arguably the two best players in the NBA. They’d easily become the greatest duo in the NBA and potentially go down in history as one of the best duos, depending on how their run would go.
I also think this would be an exciting move for casual basketball fans because now you have a three-headed monster in the West with Golden State, Houston, and once again San Antonio. The Spurs will be scary once again when Kawhi returns, but adding LeBron would change everything, even the landscape of the NBA.
Photo via Dejounte Murray/Twitter