Boston Celtics

By Ty Anderson,

The seemingly impossible may become a reality, as the Boston Celtics are apparently among the teams that LeBron James will meet with when he opts out of his contract this summer, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

“LeBron James is going to have a conversation with the Cleveland Cavaliers,” Smith began on ESPN’s “First Take” Wednesday. “They can offer him the most, and they are willing to do anything they can to keep him here, etc. etc., and obviously the wife is going to have a major, major say in things. So you got that going on. He’s going to have a conversation with Boston. He’s going to have a conversation with Philly. Obviously the Lakers. Houston’s in the mix as well. They are going to go after him.

“So you got Cleveland, Philly, Boston, Houston, LA, Golden State. I don’t think there’s anything Miami can do, but obviously because he was there and brought them two championships. Pat Riley made amends with Dwyane Wade, and you know how LeBron feels about D-Wade. Those are all conversations he’s going to have. Those are the seven teams.”

Some of the teams on this list are the usual suspects that have been mentioned since James first returned to Cleveland. This postseason has been dominated by rumors that LeBron has been deciding between the Rockets and 76ers, and more exposure to the straight-up nightmarish Cavs roster LeBron has carried to their fourth straight NBA Finals appearance only reinforces the idea that the 33-year-old is most definitely ditching the Cavs once again this summer. Game 1 at Oracle only confirmed it.

And with the way they’ve dominated the NBA over the last two years (they went 16-1 last postseason and are two wins away from another NBA title), it’s no longer a shock when anybody expresses an interest in joining the Warriors.

But the Celtics? Well, that’s certainly out of left field… of a stadium outside state limits.

Start with the point that James been the chief rival of the Celtics for his entire NBA career. Like, LeBron James has been the C’s biggest rival, not the teams he’s played on — but LeBron the athlete. He’s been jeered, taunted, and mocked at every turn during his visits to Boston. Why he would want to suddenly flip that and come to the Celtics is a little confusing.

The Celtics also have Kyrie Irving on their roster, a player that reportedly had a massive falling out with James during their time in Cleveland, which landed No. 11 in Boston in the first place. Is their relationship salvageable after just one seasons? Irving at one point said ‘anything is possible in pro sports’ when asked about a potential reunion with James, but there’s no doubt that he’s embraced his role as a leader on the Celtics, which would obviously go out the window with a ball-dominant personality like James coming into the Boston locker room.

But most of all, Celtics president Danny Ainge, who is just a year removed from one of the most impressive financial gymnastics routines of any executive in sports to add Gordon Hayward in on a max contract and then trade for Irving, would need to pull off something borderline absurd to fit James in at his requested salary on a multi-year contract. It would likely require the Celtics to move one of their high-priced talents — be it Irving, Hayward, or Al Horford — to accomplish it.

The 6-foot-8 James ranked third in the NBA in points per game (27.5) and second in assists (9.1) per game during the regular season, and is averaging a playoff-best 34.6 points per game this spring, along with nine assists and 9.2 rebounds per night.

James has also guided his team to the Finals in eight straight seasons.

Ty Anderson is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.