So says Gordie Jones on

The debate among Sixers fans, as crazy as it sounds, is whether it would be wise to sign LeBron James as a free agent this offseason.

On one hand, you have folks who are quite certain he would be the final piece to a championship puzzle. On the other, you have those who wonder how good a fit he might be — if his arrival might be problematic for a player like Sixers point guard Ben Simmons, since both are at their best when the ball is in their hands and they’re running the show.

During his season-wrapup news conference last Friday, Sixers coach Brett Brown responded to the latter concern coyly, as indeed he had to. Well aware he could be fined for tampering if he were to mention James by name, he told the reporters the following about his potential acquisition: “If this (ball-dominant) player you’re describing was great, we’d figure it out. Truly, we’d figure stuff out.”

Brown said earlier in that same presser that the Sixers need a “high-level free agent” to take the next step in their progression; owner Josh Harris and general manager Bryan Colangelo echoed similar sentiments. That seems obvious, given not only their five-game loss to Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals but also the fact that the Celtics, who like the Sixers are very young, will welcome back Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward from injuries next season.

Meaning, very likely, that to get to the Finals for the foreseeable future, teams are going to have to go through Boston. There was more evidence of that Sunday, when the Celtics laid a 108-83 whupping on James’ Cavaliers in Game One of the Eastern Finals.

One question, though: How serious is James about leaving Cleveland after this season?

And one more: Would the Sixers not be wiser if they chased a younger, more positionally sensible option in San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard?

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