Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers talk at start of free agency

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers talk at start of free agency

Hours before the start of National Basketball Association free agency, James arrived back in Los Angeles on Saturday from a family vacation in the Caribbean. He could be there longer than usual.

Even more exciting, this means the Los Angeles Lakers have a legitimate chance of signing James, that is assuming he is willing to leave the Cavaliers for a second time in his career.

LeBron James was spotted flying a private plane into Los Angeles on Saturday, according to an ESPN SportsCenter report, but Lakers fans shouldn't get their hopes up about their team reeling in the NBA's most coveted free agent just yet.

Let's take a look at what the Lakers roster and starting lineup would look like if James signed with the Lakers.

James' decision to opt out of his contract shrinks the number of teams that could be potentially pursuing him. The USA Today listed a few possible players who might be willing to play with James for the minimum.

"New York Times NBA correspondent Marc Stein reported that 76ers owner Josh Harris and David Blitzer will be at the meeting with James" agent, Rich Paul.

Anyway, the Sixers are likely thrilled to have landed a meeting with James' people. This lineup is based on just James signing with the Lakers, and not some of the other rumors that are circulating.

According to ESPN, he could still fetch as much as US$207 million over five years from Cleveland, while other teams can offer a maximum US$152 million over four years.

The Cavs have the $5.3 million taxpayer's midlevel exception available to them to spend on free agents, which they could offer to one player or try to split between two players in order to offer a slight premium over the veteran's minimum. This is also the first offseason in which Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are fully healthy. He spoke Friday to Andrienne Alpert on the set of Eyewitness Newsmakers shortly after James became a free agent.

The chance to join one of the league's most iconic franchises has an appeal to James and he said following this year's Finals that he remains in "championship mode". Philadelphia is among the teams that could trade for Kawhi Leonard, which could entice James.

James came back four years ago to a hero's welcome, something that seemed unimaginable when he left in disgrace four years earlier for Miami.

The 5-foot-9 former Kentucky player averaged 7.8 points, 4.4 assists and 23.4 minutes in 71 games last season.

Like this: