Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James will be making another controversial decision in the upcoming free agency. After being swept by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, the 33-year-old small forward is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Cavaliers and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. To avoid tampering charges, NBA teams who are interested in signing James will be needing to wait until July 1 to make an official pitch to the most coveted free agent.
However, most NBA teams don’t have the patience to wait that long, and according to an Eastern Conference general manager, LeBron James, himself, has started calling players from opposing teams he wants to play with. Mark Heisler of Orange County Register revealed that there have been no specific reports that could support the GM’s claims, but he gave a list of players James may consider playing with next season.
These include Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs, Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets, and Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Of all the three superstars, Heisler believes George is “likeliest sidekick” for James.
“George may be third but looms as the likeliest sidekick for James with the fewest issues … younger (he just turned 28) and healthier than the 33-year-old CP3 … easy to bring in as a free agent with Kawhi under contract to the arch-rival Spurs. Happily for the Lakers, with two maximum slots already saved and tradable prospects, they have the most flexibility to bring in the most faves. As James’ presumed favored destination, they’re now the favorite to land James among NBA people.”
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) June 25, 2018
LeBron James has done the same thing in the summer of 2010 when he decided to team up with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in the Miami Heat. In their four years of playing together, the Heat made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and won two NBA championship titles. With the emergence of “Super Teams,” it makes a lot of sense for James to sign with a team where he can play with at least two superstars in order to strengthen his chance of winning more NBA championship titles.
The Lakers are one of the few teams in the league who can give LeBron James the much-need help to fully dominate in the 2018-19 NBA season. They have enough salary cap space to give James and one of Chris Paul or Paul George max contracts, and a plethora of trade assets to convince the Spurs to send Kawhi Leonard to Los Angeles. James still has until Friday to decide whether he will opt out of his Cavaliers’ contract or not. He also has five days to recruit players he wants to play with next season.