Is the Celtics' future better off if LeBron James remains with the Cavs?
All the talk the past year around Boston is that the Celtics will be better off if LeBron James heads west this summer. That he'd be out of the Eastern Conference and our path to the NBA Finals would get easier. Yes of course if LeBron is in the Western Conference it would be easier to make the Finals, but the Celtics don't hang runner-up banners.
We hang championship banners. LeBron has shown in the past he chooses teams and players to pair with that give him the best chance to win championships. James isn't going to simply join a crappy Lakers team unless other stars are joining him there. He more likely would team up with another younger star on a real contender. Think James Harden with the Rockets or Kawhi Leonard with the Spurs. Also there's no guarantee James heads west. He could go back to the Heat and bring another star with him again to South Beach like Paul George. James could go to Philly to team up with Embiid, Simmons, Fultz, etc. The 76ers are a much better team than the Cavs were when LeBron rejoined him.
If LeBron stays in Cleveland, there's not that much room for improvement with the Cavs. LeBron, Love and Isaiah all will only get worse as they age. IT's hip is still a question mark. They do have that Nets pick, but as of today it's protected only at #10. The Cavs from 2018-2021 will be a lesser version of the team they've been the past few seasons. The Celtics are only going to get better.
So one could argue that LeBron remaining in Cleveland is the safest spot for the Celtics. Let him suffer coming in 2nd, 3rd or 4th the rest of his career in the East, while the Celtics compete for NBA titles. Keep him off the truer contenders.