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Watch: Jalen Rose Explains Why LeBron Will Leave Cleveland

Jalen Rose appears on ESPN.


Jalen Rose claims LeBron James is "as good as gone."

LeBron James will be free agent in the summer of 2018, and until then it's anyone's guess as to whether James will stick around to play a few more years in Cleveland. Could he really leave the Cavaliers a second time?

According to Jalen Rose, absolutely.

The former NBA player turned analyst believes James is "as good as gone."

Check it out:

Rose didn't mince words, and he went in on the Cavaliers' handling of this offseason:

"I think he's good as gone and he's greasing the skids. I talked about this since the NBA Finals and then it became a topic for national consumption. Here's the deal: During last year when the Cleveland Cavaliers were carrying 14 players on their roster, that was viewed as being cheap. So what did they go out and do after that, when LeBron spoke about it publicly? They signed D-Will [Deron Williams], they signed Andrew Bogut, they acquired Channing Frye the prior season. So now all of a sudden they're trying to do what they can to improve their roster. They get to the NBA finals—however they weren't the number one seed—so they were a team that had some flaws last year, it's just the Boston Celtics weren't able to take advantage of it.

So now you get to the NBA finals, you lose to the Golden State Warriors, they beat you convincingly, you go into an offseason, you lose your general manger— and not just lose him—a guy that helped bring the first championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise, but also somebody that's had a terrific amount of success in that position at a crucial time where free agents were moving around—potential trades were happening. What's gonna happen with Jimmy Butler? What's gonna happen with Paul George? What's gonna happen with Carmelo Anthony? Now all of a sudden you fire your GM, you don't hire somebody to replace him, and LeBron James is looking around like 'you know what, the clock is ticking.'"

So if James is "as good as gone," where would he end up? The Lakers appear to be in the mix, and are probably the frontrunner. With the boatload of young talent they have, along with the likelihood of Paul George heading to LA next season, I'd say James joining the purple and gold next summer isn't that much of a stretch.