Jazz

Why LeBron James Should Join The Jazz

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The Utah Jazz are the biggest dark horse on the free agent market this summer, and it needs to be said.

We’re forgetting that the pull of a guy like Donovan Mitchell is something not many other teams can offer, and joining forces in Utah would also be a not-so-crazy move to consider for more players than just LeBron James. However, since the best basketball player in the world is the top one available on July 1st, it wouldn’t hurt at all for the Utah Jazz to shoot their shot.

Other teams that have thrown their hat in the ring for LeBron James include the Lakers, Clippers, Celtics, Spurs, Warriors, and Heat, to name a few. Given that Kawhi Leonard is all but on his way out via trade before the start of next season, we are extremely close to being able to fully take the Spurs off of the list. Then, looking at a team like Golden State, it’s somewhere he’d only go if chasing the six ring stigma that people argue Michael Jordan has over him is what is most important to him at this point in his career.

James has spoken out regarding what will be a major deciding factor in this decision, and he make it clear that it comes down to what’s best for his family.

With the Warriors and Spurs not as likely, the next team to take down would be Miami. A reunion with Dwyane Wade would be nostalgic for us all, but that’s not a realistic option when it comes to being a contender in the Eastern Conference and it’s also somewhere he’s already been. This time around, there’s a feeling about the situation that he’s ready for something brand new while he’s still got some basketball left in him.

For LeBron James to go to Boston, they’d have to be an even better team than they are now and even at that point a lot of bad blood would have to be brought off the boil. He has history against Boston no matter what team he’s been on in his career, and joining forces with the likes of the Celtics isn’t something that suits what he probably wants right now.

Plus, Boston’s focus is on their young talent anyway and it would seem that they’re just putting themselves into the conversation because of the fact that they are one of the historic franchises in the league.

Not to be rude, but I don’t think I really need to explain why he shouldn’t go to the Clippers, especially if you had the Lakers as an alternative. Neither Los Angeles team will be the best move for him either though because if he joins the Lakers not only is he putting an immense amount of pressure on himself to perform at a championship level, but even with other superstars like Paul George and Kawhi Leonard likely headed that way, he’ll still be the one to carry the weight of the whole team if things fall apart.

Leonard distancing himself from San Antonio as suddenly and sharply as he did should be concerning if he ever gets even the smallest sign of an injury, and let’s not forget that Paul George completely disappeared in clutch moments of the first round last season when the Thunder needed him. Add to that the fact that either Lonzo Ball is going to be traded in the process and there will be a circus because of LaVar Ball or Lonzo Ball will still be on the team and LeBron James will have LaVar Ball in both of his ears for the last few seasons of his career.

Yeah, right.

Now that those teams are out of the way, let’s take a quick look at Utah, as that was the whole point of writing this. Donovan Mitchell was the steal of last summer’s draft coming from Louisville, and he’s set a tone in Salt Lake City that few rookies in NBA history probably could’ve ever done. The Jazz were projected to be absolute garbage, and for a good chunk of the early part of the season, that was the case.

However, just a loss away from being ten games below .500, Mitchell and the Jazz found new life en route to a playoff berth in which they eliminated a three-superstar Oklahoma City team with the reigning league MVP and then got the short straw by having to play against the Houston Rockets in round two which was simply a bad match up.

Being eliminated in the second round of the playoffs doesn’t take away from the kind of team that they are heading into this year, though. They are still ranked as the fifth best team in the league and also have much more than just young gun sensation Donovan Mitchell.

They’ve got balance. That’s something you could argue LeBron has never had in his career.

Either it’s been his team was too good or too bad and he would either have to fill in the gaps too often or not press hard enough with an immesne amount of talent around him. Should he go to Utah, he’ll also have the best big man, defensively speaking, in the league via Rudy Gobert and arguably the best coach from last season in Quin Snyder.

If you’ve got the best young player in the game, the best coach, and the best defensive presence, trying to argue that the market in Utah is too small for someone like James is ridiculous. To add to that, even, Salt Lake City was the setting for some of the most iconic moments in Michael Jordan’s career.

With all else considered, is this really a question we should be asking?

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About Keith Rivas

Keith is based In Salt Lake City and covers the Jazz for TLSM. Follow him on Twitter @mrkeithrivas for all things Utah Jazz.

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