Nuggets 3-0 lead has NBA media speculating about new homes for LeBron James

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Three
Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Three / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

With the Nuggets leading the Lakers 3-0 in their first-round playoff series, it’s safe to say this is all but over for Los Angeles. No team has ever erased a 3-0 series deficit in NBA playoff history, and the Lakers appear more likely to bow out with a whimper in game 4 than to push back and make this a competitive series.

But the way this series has played out so far has people in the media not only eulogizing the Lakers’ season but the team as we know it. In fact, more than a few are pontificating that this could be the end of the LeBron James era in LA.

Is this the end for LeBron James with the Lakers?

It was a talking point all over the NBA world, and several notable podcasts including the Bill Simmons Podcast, the Lowe Post with Zach Lowe, and the Mismatch with Kevin O’Connor and Chris Vernon each ran segments speculating on the next destination for LeBron James and where he may want to end his illustrious career.

The talking points were different and various people had different takes and angles, but one thing remained consistent; this team isn’t getting past the Nuggets. That has become very clear this year, and there’s no reason to think that will change any time soon. The Lakers got amazing seasons out of both James and Davis and it’s not nearly enough.

They can trade all their picks and retool all the role players around James and Davis. They could even take a big swing and try to land another star like Trae Young or Zach LaVine. But that’s not enough to change the math here. The Nuggets are too good and the team isn’t going away. If LeBron wants to compete for another title in his career, it is likely going to have to be on a team that isn’t the Lakers.

LeBron's next team

James has a player option after this season. He could opt out and become a free agent, or facilitate some kind of sign-and-trade deal to the destination of his choice. The latter seems more likely as it will open up a lot more possible landing spots for James.

So where would LeBron want to play? Does he want to join a true star, like in Philly with Embiid or Dallas with Luka? Maybe he wants to join up with Steph Curry and stay in California with the Warriors? Or maybe he wants to go home again and join a promising young Cavaliers core in Cleveland? No matter what happens, we can gear up for several months of rampant speculation but take solace in knowing that the Nuggets killed the Lakers as we know them.