LeBron James is the talk of the NBA as free agency has opened up and the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers are set to square off for his services. While those two teams have been the most talked about potential landing spots, there is another team that has shown interest in pursuing a deal with James.
According to a report from Chris Mannix of Yahoo! Sports, the Denver Nuggets are planning to aggressively pursue James after re-signing Will Barton to start free agency.
“The Denver Nuggets are aggressively pursuing a meeting with star free-agent forward LeBron James, a league source told Yahoo Sports, hoping to convince James that Denver’s talent makes the Nuggets an ideal short-term fit. Denver has been in contact with James’ agent, Rich Paul, and has doggedly tried to position the team as James’ best option, the source said.”
Denver may not be viewed as a serious contender for James, but they can offer him an intriguing situation.
James is coming off of one of the best seasons of his stellar NBA career in 2017-18 with the Cavaliers. He averaged 27.5 points per game to go along with 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds. Those numbers would make the Nuggets a tough team to compete with in the Western Conference.
If the Nuggets were to sign James, they would be able to pair him with Nikola Jokic in the front-court. Denver also has a young, talented back-court of Jamal Murray and Gary Harris. Will Barton was also re-signed to begin free agency, which is a huge move for the Nuggets’ depth.
Y! Story on Denver's pursuit of a meeting with LeBron James https://t.co/YUKJ5jUb6q
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) July 1, 2018
In order for the Nuggets to get James, they would have to shed a lot of salary. A sign-and-trade situation might be the only way for Denver to bring James in. Denver has been rumored to be shopping Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried in trade discussions, which would clear a lot of cap space.
Needless to say, it will be interesting to see what James ends up doing this offseason. He has made it clear that he is not going to be taking the normal free agency meeting tour that many big names take. James knows how free agency works and he simply wants to hear from teams how they can help him win more rings.
At this point in time, the Lakers are favored to land James when everything is said and done. Cleveland has talked with Rich Paul, who is James’ agent, but there are no reports about their chances to retain James.
Expect to hear plenty more rumors about James in the next day or two. Denver may not have a great chance to land James, but it is intriguing that they are getting involved, to say the least.