Rumor: LeBron James’ desire to play ‘off the ball’ could lead him to Sixers
LeBron James’ uncertain future following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ run in the postseason of course will be the biggest story line this coming offseason. James is expected to exercise his player option and while it is certainly plausible he could return to the Cavaliers, there has been no shortage of speculation and innuendo concerning his next move.
One team in particular, analysts suggest, ought to capture James’ fancy, the Philadelphia 76ers. The team boasts a dazzlingly talented young roster highlighted by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, both of whom count James as a fan.
A recent rumor has surfaced concerning James’ potential interest in joining the Sixers comes courtesy of FS1’s Chris Broussard, who says James’ desire to shift from being the primary ball-handler on offense could lead him to Philly, thanks to Simmons’ presence.
As transcribed by SLAM:
“I’ve been told by somebody that would know that LeBron wants to play off the ball.” […]
“I’m talking about LeBron going to Philly and playing more of a true small forward [role].” […]
“What I was told is that LeBron has [played on the ball] because he’s never really had a teammate who was a playmaker for other guys. […] Ben Simmons is that [playmaker].”
James has long been a ball-dominant player, so the notion he’s supposedly interested in relinquishing that role is compelling ot say the least.
The proposed “James-to-Philly” angle has played out on numerous occasions in recent months. However, one outspoken NBA analyst doesn’t quite see it that way.
On the other hand, a Philadelphia-based company put up billboards to openly plead with James to join the Sixers.
James has said on numerous occasions that he finds such gestures “flattering.” However, James has also consistently stated such talk is for another time as he is solely focused on leading the Cavaliers to another appearance in the NBA Finals. With that in mind, while all the conjecture is intriguing, it’s going to be awhile before James lets the world know what he intends to do next.