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Finding the perfect mate

Which superstar shines brightest next to King James? "LeBron Rating" reveals all.

Updated: May 17, 2010, 12:46 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN Insider

The conference finals are under way, but let's be honest: The biggest story in the NBA is LeBron James' upcoming free-agency tour. Nothing less than the future of the league is at stake. OK, that might be a bit extreme, but you can argue that a player of his stature has never been available at such a young age. With that in mind, Insider brings you LeBron Week, a five-part look at every aspect of James' decision. First up, John Hollinger examines the best possible sidekick for LeBron.

LeBron James hits free agency in six weeks, and we've read a lot of tea leaves about which landing spots would work best for him. But today, it's time to turn the analysis on its head: Which players would benefit most from teaming up with LeBron?

For the purposes of brevity and sanity, I'm restricting the debate to star players who could plausibly team up with LeBron next year. Sure, Kobe Bryant would make a great teammate for King James, but I don't see that one as being terribly realistic.

Instead, let's look at what, statistically, might make a player a good fit with LeBron and then work backward to determine which ones possess the most positive attributes.

In order, here are the most important criteria:

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