If real-estate investments portend NBA free-agency decisions, LeBron James needs a new poker face.
The four-time MVP, who holds a player option for next season, has apparently purchased a mansion in Brentwood California, making it the second one he’s bought in the area, per the Los Angeles Times‘ Neal J. Leiterbeg:
LeBron James has made a play for another high-end home in Brentwood.
A limited liability company linked to the NBA superstar has paid $23 million for a newly built spec mansion in the Westside community, property records show. The corporate entity is the same that was used by James two years ago to buy another home in the Brentwood area for about $21 million.
Look, I know what the troll in you is thinking: LeBron James has plans to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, who would love to poach him and Paul George this summer. But not so fast. This could mean anything.
relax y'all. LeBron just wants to make sure he's not hosting the Sixers' 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 championship parties at the same LA crib every year. https://t.co/Fl9NrpXXeQ
— Dan Favale (@danfavale) December 7, 2017
Okay, fine, it probably doesn’t mean that. But the point stands: This latest real estate purchase doesn’t tip James’ hand in any way, shape or form. He’s long had an affinity for California and, specifically, Los Angeles. He’s held offseason court there for his teams. And yet, you didn’t see him flock toward the Lakers in 2010, or even in 2014.
Anyone who claims to have a pulse on LeBron’s mindset right now is fooling themselves, along with whoever believes them. So much about his future depends on the outcome of this season. If the Cleveland Cavaliers make it back to the NBA Finals and either win or put up a fight against the Golden State Warriors, he’ll be hard-pressed to leave. He’ll be doubly hard-pressed to bolt if the Cavs parlay the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round draft pick into another star at the trade deadline or over the offseason.
And, finally, even if he does leave, LeBron will be considering other teams other than the Lakers. The most popular destinations include, but are not limited to, Houston, San Antonio and Philadelphia—each of which would be in a better position to contend for a title with LeBron than the Lakers.