Lakers Rumors: 76ers Eyeing LeBron James As Potential Free Agent Addition
LeBron James, Joel Embiid, Lakers, 76ers
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason is a massive one for the Los Angeles Lakers as the team looks to make the necessary moves to vault back into championship contention. But no move would matter in terms of reaching that level if the franchise were to lose LeBron James this summer.

James has a player option for next season, but he could decline that and become an unrestricted free agent. It remains most likely that he returns to the Lakers, but if he does hit free agency, he will obviously have teams interested. And one team that could legitimately intrigue him is the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 76ers could create up to $65 million in cap space and have a pair of All-Stars on the roster already in Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, not to mention that they play in the weaker Eastern Conference. So if LeBron was most focused on winning another championship, it could be argued them that gives him the best chance. And according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, LeBron is on the 76ers’ list of potential offseason additions:

The Sixers do have their eyes on other lucrative-salary impact players just in case they don’t get George. That’s why they also are looking at potential free agents like the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby. If not in free agency, the Sixers believe they can use their draft assets and available cap space to acquire a difference-maker via a trade. That has led to Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, and New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram being among trade interests.

It still seems highly unlikely that LeBron will play anywhere else aside from the Lakers, but the possibility is there and Philadelphia is the lone team that has the cap space while also being a legit contender.

The Lakers are going to do everything in their power to make sure James finishes out his career in the purple and gold, but there is only so much they can control. If LeBron hits free agency, the decision is ultimately out of their hands and the 76ers could swoop in and make a massive offer that could be difficult for James to refuse.

Rich Paul calls Lakers’ LeBron James a free agent during Western Conference Finals

While it is expected that LeBron James will decline that player option and become a free agent, nothing has been made official. This is why it was a bit surprising to hear LeBron’s agent Rich Paul have a bit of a slip up during the TNT alternate broadcast during the Western Conference Finals.

Paul called the Lakers superstar a ‘free agent,’ prompting Chris Haynes to ask if he was making it known that the Lakers star will definitely decline his option. Paul would say he doesn’t know what James is going to do just yet, but many will view this as evidence of LeBron’s opt-out being a foregone conclusion.

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