Report: If Rockets land Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James could join him in 2018

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Where will LeBron James play following the 2017-18 season? For multiple reasons, the Los Angeles Lakers have received most of the attention. But speaking on CSN New England, Chris Mannix of The Vertical had a different Western Conference team in mind.

Mannix did make it clear that the long talked-about Carmelo Anthony trade must happen first. However, he speculated that if it did, LeBron might join his banana boat buddies Chris Paul and Anthony, along with James Harden, on the Houston Rockets.

If the Rockets can get their hands on Carmelo Anthony, they would have two of LeBron’s best friends — Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony — on the same team. They would have James Harden, who played USA Basketball with Carmelo Anthony. You’re telling me that those three guys wouldn’t spend the entire season, entire year, recruiting LeBron? We just saw this with Draymond Green, the Warriors, and Kevin Durant. I think those guys would do the same thing to try to lure LeBron to Houston.”

At this point, essentially nothing can be ruled out. If the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2017-18 season ends in similar (or worse) fashion than the 2016-17 campaign, James will certainly be looking to upgrade, either in Cleveland or elsewhere.

The 2017 NBA Finals showed that Cleveland was a long way from competing with the Golden State Warriors. It’s unlikely that he’d want to spend any remaining prime years playing for a team that can’t compete with the league’s best.

Granted, 2018’s results might be different, but if we assume they’ll be similar, what would be easier for LeBron? Bringing in one or two more quality All-Stars to Cleveland, or going somewhere else to join a star laden team? If nothing else, it would give him a chance to have fun playing with friends.

It’s a long way from happening. Still, the possibility makes too much sense to ignore.