Yes, it would make sense for LeBron James to consider the Wizards, as Michael Wilbon said

A theory that may seem far-fetched to some has once again been brought out from the dark corners of Wizards fans internet and into the mainstream. 

No, it’s not a 4chan- or Reddit-level conspiracy theory, but it’s a wild idea: what if LeBron James left Cleveland to join the Wizards?

Michael Wilbon made the case on on Wednesday and in doing so sparked the conversation on social media. Some of his theory isn’t new, but Wilbon made some original points that add validity to the idea.

This theory has been espoused on Twitter by many (including myself) for years. Chris Miller and I have discussed it at length on the Wizards Tipoff podcast numerous times. Paul Pierce has even explained why it makes sense on ESPN.

Before we examine Wilbon’s case, let’s look at the reasons why LeBron-to-the-Wizards is not a crazy idea.

First, from a basketball sense. If James wants to keep competing for championships, he is much better off staying in the Eastern Conference. If he goes West, even if he joins the Rockets, he will have to compete with the Warriors, one of the most talented teams of all time, just to get to the NBA Finals. 

Why would he make things unnecessarily hard on himself? That would make no sense at all. If winning is the goal, every Western Conference team should be eliminated, even the Lakers who many have tied to James.

This guy wants to win and he’s both smart and self-aware. To go West would arguably be a dumb decision.

That leaves 15 teams to choose from, most of which can’t offer James a situation where he could win right away. The Magic, the Nets, the Hawks and others can simply be crossed off the list. 

The Wizards are objectively one of the best situations in the East in terms of the ability to win now. They have two All-Stars who play different positions than LeBron and who don’t have redundant styles of play. Add James to the combination of John Wall and Bradley Beal and that team is the clear favorite to emerge from the East.

Throw in the fact that James has the same agent as Wall and works out with him over the summer and there’s another connection. Even after an injury-affected year, Wall is arguably a top 10-to-15 player in the NBA and not many teams can say they have one of those. The Wizards can.

There are other Eastern Conference teams that can offer similar situations to the Wizards. The Sixers are one and there’s no denying the on-court fit. The Celtics are another, but going to them would require James swallowing his pride to reunite with Kyrie Irving.

Secondly, James likes the city of Washington. Back in 2008 he was asked by ESPN for his five favorite NBA cities and D.C. came in fourth. If lifestyle is a part of the equation, Washington has a leg up.

What WIlbon brought into focus is an important point and probably worth considering for James. If he came to D.C., he would have a greater political platform than he does now. For a guy who has become more and more vocal on subjects outside of the game of basketball, that could be appealing.

Whether James has political aspirations or not, his voice would be magnified even more if he was in Washington, the most powerful city in the world. There’s a reason why James and other NBA players and coaches offer their thoughts on today’s political climate when they are in town to play the Wizards.

In order to make it happen, the Wizards would need to trade for James after he opts into the final year of his contract, which is worth $35.6 million. That would require matching the money and all three parties agreeing to the terms. James wouldn’t want his new team to be stripped of too many important assets.

The other two ways to get James are almost entirely unrealistic. Free agency would require cap room they do not have. And a sign-and-trade situation would need James to commit for a much longer deal and he clearly likes the flexibility of short-term contracts.

It can be done, however, and for all the reasons listed above, James to the Wizards makes a lot more sense than people may initially think.

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