LeBron James Opts out of Contract

Adjust Comment Print

"I came back because I felt like I had some unfinished business", James said after the Cavs last NBA Finals loss. That would have opened up the possibility of him being traded to whichever team he wanted to play for.

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

Cleveland, too, would still be in the mix as James could sign a short-term deal with the Cavs.

The 76ers stand as a third and seemingly distant runner-up for James.

This could be the Lakers chance to convince James that he should come to Los Angeles and play for them. "It ended a drought for Cleveland of 50-plus years, so I think we'll all remember that in sports history". James may still re-sign with the Cavaliers because they can present him with a five-year, $205-million contact, more years and money than any other team can offer. Lakers brass, headed by former National Basketball Association champion Magic Johnson, will now try to convince James to sign a contract that could be worth $152 million over four years in Los Angeles.

The Cavaliers can offer the ability to continue playing in his home city and for a team that has made it to four straight NBA Finals since James returned, including winning the 2016 NBA title.

Last summer's stunning trade of guard Kyrie Irving left the Cavs without a quality running mate for James, who was forced to carry a heavier offensive load throughout the regular season and playoffs.

How to watch Lakers vs. Trail Blazers Summer League final
Speaking of turnovers, the rookie finished the Summer League with just three of them during 158 combined minutes on the court. Equally as important, he has given teams the opportunity to rethink who they put on their Summer League rosters next year.

LeBron, Zo and another star? Although the relationship between James and Miami owner Micky Arison is nowhere near as fractured as is in Cleveland the cap situation is in the same spot.

OTHER CONTENDERS: Houston: While the Rockets once seemed a good fit, James declining his option all but eliminated the chances of him joining up with close friend Chris Paul and league MVP James Harden.

It was thought that Paul George would be the star who would join up with James in Los Angeles.

ESPN reported the number of teams James and his representatives, Rich Paul and Mark Termini, could be interested in as free agents will be small. It's a step forward for the Lakers. In 2010 it was the Boston Celtics, in 2014 it was the San Antonio Spurs, and now that team is the Warriors.

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

And according to national media reports Thursday, trade talks with the San Antonio Spurs are heating up with several big-market teams.

Comments