NBA Free Agency Rumors: LeBron James Signing With Team Other Than Lakers Or Cavaliers Would Be Shocking Decision
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

When the 2017-18 season began and LeBron James only had one year remaining on his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, many already began looking ahead to NBA free agency. Teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers had long been completing the groundwork to pursue the All-Star forward.

James has until June 29 to decide on $35.6 million player option for next season. It’s widely believed he will decline it, and join Paul George in being a coveted free agent this summer. Of course, James could opt in, like Chris Paul last year, to orchestrate a trade.

Under the presumption James will opt out of the final year on his deal, it had long been reported the Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers would emerge as his most-serious suitors.

Recent reports suggest James is not fond of Houston as a city, and will make a free agent decision, albeit at a deliberate pace, with his family’s feelings in mind.

During an appearance on “Mason and Ireland” on ESPN L.A. Radio, Dave McMenamin pegged the Cavaliers and Lakers as the favorites to sign James:

The Lakers have been considered a potential landing spot for James in large part because of their abundance of salary cap space and emerging young roster. The team could pair James with another star free agent in George, and/or complete a trade for Kawhi Leonard as well.

The Lakers may just as well sign James and George to blend them with their core group that’s already intact. Doing such would require them to move on from the prospect of re-signing restricted free agent Julius Randle, barring any surprising trade that included Luol Deng.

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