Now there's a new LeBron 2018 free agency rumor. And as far as Cleveland is concerned, Houston, we may have a problem.
In a Thursday piece for ESPN.com, Ian Begley details the events that led to the New York Knicks trading Carmelo Anthony this past September. And although Anthony ultimately wound up a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, many believed he'd be traded to the Houston Rockets.
Anthony, too, shared that belief. Not only that, but the All-Star forward also thought that a trade to the Rockets could ultimately result in a partnership with James, who can opt out of his current contract next summer.
Anthony, along with most of the rest of the NBA, said in September that he strongly believed he'd be traded to Houston in early July. He'd been talking to friends about teaming up with Chris Paul and, eventually, LeBron James in Houston and how the Rockets could match up with the defending champion Golden State Warriors. He went as far as to detail individual matchups between that hypothetical Rockets team and the Warriors, surmising that he and the Rockets could take out the Warriors. For most of the offseason, Anthony was confident that the Knicks and Rockets would get a deal together.
That, of course, didn't happen, with Anthony winding up with the Thunder, who have struggled to a 16-15 start to the season. Houston and Cleveland, meanwhile, have thus far flourished, with the Rockets laying claim to the NBA's best record (25-5) and the Cavs recovering from their own slow start, laying claim to a 23-9 mark heading into their Thursday night matchup with the Chicago Bulls.
That's not to say Houston couldn't make a run at Anthony and/or James in free agency next summer -- even though the Rockets currently lack the necessary cap space to do so. Then again, James did tell Bleacher Report in 2016 that he'd be willing to take a pay cut, so long as it meant teaming up with friends like Anthony, Cavs guard Dwyane Wade and Houston guard Chris Paul.
James, for his part, has remained mum on his impending free agency since stating at media day in September: "Anytime I'm able to either be a free agent or my contract is up, then I will approach that when the summer comes."
That, however, won't stop others from addressing it for him, with a potential Banana Boat trip to Houston being the latest rumor du jour.