When Kevin Garnett was asked, just minutes after he and the Boston Celtics had dispatched the Cavaliers from the playoffs, what he thought Lebron James should do in the impending free agency period, Garnett advised Lebron to leave the idea of loyalty behind and go out and find a team that could get him a championship.
That advice is coming from a player who also toiled in a secondary market for years, holding on to the idea that he might be able to bring a championship to Minnesota, instead of taking another contract that would get him to a title.
But even though Garnett’s advice is sound, his situation was different than Lebron’s. Garnett’s Timberwolves never came close to the success that Lebron and the Cavaliers have already achieved, and Garnett was from Chicago, not Minneapolis.
One key point that so many pundits are completely missing in the Lebron free agent mania is that he does not have to sign with Cleveland for an extended contract. He could sign for as little as two years to stay. That means he would remain the favorite son of his hometown, have two more seasons to figure out how to win a title, and then consider his options all over again. And, at that time, the Nets will be moving to Brooklyn.
Lebron might have a better shot at winning a title elsewhere, but that is ignoring the fact that Cleveland was supposedly the best team over the past two seasons, they just ended up underachieving. It’s better for Lebron to stay in Cleveland for at least two more years, better for the NBA, and better for Cleveland.
This article originally appeared on BasketballElite.com