- LeBron James is expected to officially become a free agent on Sunday.
- Rumours about his next move are abounding, with many suggesting he’s plotting a move to the Los Angeles Lakers.
- With reports, rumours, whispers, and buzz about James trying to team up with other superstars, no one is quite sure what’s next for the NBA’s best player.
NBA free agency kicks off Sunday, and all eyes will be focused on LeBron James.
According to Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, James will officially become a free agent by turning down his contract option for next season.
In a testament to the closeness of James’ inner circle, it is unclear what he’ll do in free agency. Rumours and reports have suggested James’ top choices are the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers, with teams on the periphery including the Philadelphia 76ers and the Houston Rockets. Many options for him are complicated, however, and it seems as if there’s no perfect fit for him.
That doesn’t mean the rumour mill has stopped churning, with much of the focus on how he might land with the Lakers.
According to ESPN, the Lakers are trying to trade for Kawhi Leonard, believing landing Leonard would entice James to sign with them.
Vardon, however, reported that James’ mind would not be made up by Leonard landing or not landing with the Lakers.
Yahoo’s Jordan Schultz reported that Leonard reached out to James to discuss going to the Lakers, with Leonard saying he would like to play alongside James.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported on “First Take” that James had reached out to Kevin Durant to gauge his interest in joining the Lakers. Both Vardon and ESPN’s Zach Lowe disputed that report.
James’ decision to opt out of his contract in Cleveland seems to take the Rockets off the table, as they would have major hurdles in signing him as a free agent while keeping their core together. Nonetheless, The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported that Chris Paul had been recruiting James to Houston.
The 76ers stand as a third and seemingly distant runner-up for James. They may not be his top preference, but they can make the cap space to sign him outright, and their young core may be attractive to James. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that there had long been discussion around the league about the 76ers adding James and Leonard this offseason.
There is most likely plenty more to come. As ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has said, there is a pool of teams that seem like likely destinations for James. But if James chooses, he can essentially pick any team and make it happen.
While the NBA world buzzes about James’ next move, James was cliff-diving on vacation on Thursday.
LeBron is going to make a big leap.
But first, he jumped off a cliff! pic.twitter.com/Y6SnlQtkdp
— SB Nation (@SBNation) June 29, 2018
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