The Los Angeles Lakers will be searching for stars in free agency this summer, with LeBron James being one of their top targets. Rumors are already flying about where James may wind up, with several teams ready and willing to throw their hat in the ring.
James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently battling the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, but at midnight on July 1, he will have an opportunity to take his talents elsewhere. Currently, there are rumored to be four teams in the running to land him.
That group is comprised of the Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets and Cavaliers. However, former James teammate Richard Jefferson appeared on the “Jalen and Jacoby” show and mentioned the Portland Trail Blazers as a potential landing spot:
“I can see him doing anything, because no one knows. Marc Stein doesn’t know, I don’t know, you don’t know. No one knows. No one knew he was going to Miami, hence the television show, “The Decision.” No one knew he was going back to Cleveland. … Right now, I really think Portland is trying to do some things to move their entire roster. Obviously, LeBron has a connection to Oregon because of his relationship with Nike. Phil Knight being a really, really big LeBron fan, I think wants to get him up there. They could build a whole new campus up there. Portland has now entered into the unfounded, irresponsible speculation of free agency around LeBron.”
Jefferson’s suggestion should be taken with a huge grain of salt because, as of this moment, the Trail Blazers have nowhere near the salary cap space necessary to sign James to a max contract.
Meanwhile the other four rumored teams either already have the space or have realistic paths to getting there. The Rockets would face a challenging task but general manager Daryl Morey has a history of making the near-impossible seem easy.
Each potential suitor does have it’s own drawbacks, such as the 76ers’ messy situation with president of basketball operations Bryan Colengelo’s Twitter fiasco, but ultimately James is going to decide which team comes closest to meeting his needs.
For the Lakers, who posses a young roster, their cap flexibility and moveable assets will be a major selling point. At this stage, it’s anyone’s guess where James will wind up.
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