LeBron James signing with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 opened a new title window after the worst stretch in franchise history. It ultimately took two years and an Anthony Davis trade but LeBron ended up accomplishing his ultimate goal, bringing a championship to LA.
Now in 2023, the LeBron era in Los Angeles feels like it is coming to an end. Despite LeBron’s ability to continually break down age barriers, there is a time limit on how long he can produce at an elite level. There is also a time limit on how long the Lakers can keep him in town.
LeBron has been very clear about his desire to play with his son, Bronny James, who is eligible to be drafted in the 2024 NBA Draft. With a player option after the 2023-24 season, LeBron has the ability to opt-out and simply sign with whichever team drafts Bronny.
In the latest episode of The Ringer’s “The Mismatch” podcast, NBA insider Kevin O’Connor laid out his reasoning for a surprise team to win the LeBron James sweepstakes. Despite all of the drama currently surrounding the organization with James Harden, O’Connor laid out the case for LeBron (and Bronny) joining the 76ers in 2024.
"“If its the big fish I think (Daryl) Morey’s target next summer will be LeBron James. It just makes sense logically, Chris, right? Who else would it be?”"
NBA Rumors: 76ers named as a potential threat to steal LeBron James from the Lakers
Money-wise the 76ers have the capacity to bring LeBron into town next summer. LeBron may not even be chasing a max contract if the sole intention is to play with Bronny but the 76ers are one of the few teams that could still pay him superstar money.
And with how Daryl Morey often obsesses over having two stars, he certainly would be willing to give LeBron a huge salary on a short-term contract that allows the team to contend without sacrificing future flexibility.
Philadelphia also has the draft capital to make this happen as well. Several of the team’s future draft picks are tied up with other teams but not the team’s 2024 first-round pick. Bronny is expected to go in the late first round, right in the range of where Philadelphia should be after the 2023-24 season.
The 76ers literally have everything the team possibly needs to be able to convince LeBron James to take his talents to the City of Brotherly Love. Better yet, they also have the motive to do so. Joel Embiid isn’t going to stay happy forever, and bringing in LeBron next summer could be the front office’s last push as capitalizing on this title window with Embiid’s prime.