The San Antonio Spurs will look to bring new faces to the team in the offseason, especially if they fail to go deep into the playoffs this season. The Spurs are among the teams being linked to Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, who will likely be available in free agency this summer.
James, who is playing in his 15th season in the league, is expected to opt out of the final year of his three-year, $99.86 million contract with the Cavaliers. The 14-time All-Star, who is currently averaging 27.0 points on top of 9.0 assists and 8.4 rebounds per game, will command a max deal this summer.
The Spurs were tagged as a possible destination for James mainly because of head coach Greg Popovich. However, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer said that the Spurs are not among James’ preferred destination in the offseason contrary to previous reports.
Matt Burke of Metro US reported that the Spurs are still in the race to sign James. But based on what he has been hearing, O’Connor insisted that San Antonio is unlikely to sign James even if they manage to create the space to do so in the offseason. He said that the Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Philadelphia 76ers are the only four teams on LeBron’s list of possible destinations.
The Cavaliers remain the favorite to sign James, especially if they win a championship this season. He has been sending signals over the past several months, suggesting that he wants to finish his career in Cleveland. However, analysts and fans are still continuously linking James to other teams.
The Lakers have long been linked to James. Their desire to build the team around James and Oklahoma City Thunder Paul George is one of the worst-kept secrets in the league. Los Angeles has created the necessary cap space to make a run at both superstars, but it remains to be seen whether or not they can make it happen in the offseason.
Houston is also tagged as an ideal landing spot, especially if James prioritizes the chance of winning another title with another team. The Rockets look poise to give Golden State Warriors a run for their money this season. Rockets guard Chris Paul is also a close friend of James, and the four-time MVP previously expressed desire to play with him before.
On the other hand, the 76ers have already entered the picture. James has publicly praised Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons over the past several months. It generated speculation that he is indeed open to moving to the 76ers, who are on pace to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 NBA season.