Thursday, 16 August, 2018

LeBron weighing many options as free agency looms

LeBron James: Wait, he didn’t text Kevin Durant with tempting offer? LeBron James declines player option with Cavaliers, set to become free agent: report
Eugene Bates | 01 July, 2018, 13:49

LEBRON James will reportedly not meet face-to-face with Cleveland officials as speculation continues to swirl about what his future holds after he opted into free agency on Saturday (AEST). Many options for him are complicated, however, and it seems as if there's no flawless fit for him.

The four-time MVP will easily headline a stellar free agent class that includes Paul George, Chris Paul, DeMarcus Cousins and others. Do the Houston Rockets still have a chance? Think about how easy it should be to build a strong contender around a dominant player like James, and when seeing how poor of a job the Cavaliers did this past season, seeing James opt out really isn't all that surprising.

Kanter, who had originally hoped to sign a long-term contract this summer, told ESPN in a phone interview he took out an insurance policy that will pay him $20 million if he suffers a career-threatening injury because he will be playing on a one-year deal.

James already has some shallow roots on the West Coast with two homes in the Los Angeles area and a film production company.

According to ESPN, James declined a $35.6 million player option for the 2018-19 season to test the open market. There are exceptions allowing teams to spend even if they are over the cap, or above the luxury tax line, but those are not big enough to afford a top-level player.

All eyes are on LeBron as free agency starts at the stroke of midnight on Sunday.

George had always been considered a heavy lean to sign with the Lakers, and along with LeBron James, was labeled one of the key pillars to accelerating - or ending - the franchise's rebuild.

That doesn't mean the rumor mill has stopped churning, with much of the focus on how he might land with the Lakers.

Joe Vardon, an National Basketball Association reporter for Cleveland.com, first broke the news, which was later confirmed by ESPN and other media outlets.

But in his report, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski added that the Lakers "did not have a good initial conversation" with the Spurs about a potential deal.

Los Angeles is believed to be the first stop for James on his free agency tour.

The Sixers can cross one free agent off their wish list. It is a decision that the 33-year-old didn't have to make until Friday's midnight deadline.

He's coming off another fabulous season that saw him average 34 points, 9.1 rebounds and nine assists on 53.9 per cent shooting, but also a second straight defeat to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals - and the third in four years.

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