Shout out to C.J. McCollum for the lack of filters on his new podcast.
In what the Portland Trail Blazers guard calls a “one-of-a-kind show that will give an unmatched look into the NBA,” he didn’t disappoint in his pilot episode.
McCollum touched on undoubtedly the hottest topic in basketball: LeBron James‘ free agency run.
A list narrowed down to the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers, it’s the latter club McCollum believes isn’t getting enough attention. Here’s the transcript, per NBC Sports:
“He’s always calculated about his decision-making process going back to his youth. Ben [Simmons] is his young guy. Ben is a member of Klutch Sports, so that also could play a factor.
Philly is in the Eastern Conference. LeBron has been fond of the Eastern Conference throughout his career on what seems to be his EZ-Pass to the Finals.
I think it’s a bigger possibility than people think. I’m not sure if they have the space financially for that. Obviously, they have a lot of guys on rookie deals right now. But they would need to get some more shooters in there if they do want to bring Bron in.”
Quotes like these tend to be amplified when they come from players closer to the action, so does it hold the same weight?
Let’s dissect it.
For starters, it’s a no-brainer that should James leave, he’d join forces with an already-talented team; in no way is he going to an upstart club to help a rebuild.
To say that LeBron fancied the Sixers because of Simmons isn’t that juicy, but want to know what is? Klutch Sports.
It just goes to show how many intricate factors may come into LeBron’s recruiting process. He could prefer In-N-Out to Whataburger, prompting him to stiff arm the Rockets for the Lakers. For Klutch to be involved, chalk that up as a small win for the Sixers.
The Eastern Conference quip? Another valid, yet overused point. James has caught flak for this time and time again over his career, so McCollum isn’t saying anything we don’t know about the uber-easy paths to the Finals.
As for the cap space passage, it’s perhaps one of the primary reasons that a James-to-Philadelphia marriage has generated so much buzz. It’ll be up to the Sixers to first make those moves — and do so without gutting the roster, which seems like a probable scenario.
Lastly, the shooters.
Whether the Sixers re-sign J.J. Redick or bring in veteran sharpshooters on cheap contracts remains to be seen, but is that a be-all, end-all for James? Probably not. That’s taken as more of an opinion than anything from McCollum. Still, it wouldn’t hurt the Sixers for trying to accommodate to those requests.
It’s not as if McCollum was bustling through the grapevine to deliver scoops; we knew most of this already. But to hear it straight from an NBA player’s mouth is all the more reason why James to the 76ers next summer is a realistic scenario.
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