After declining his $35.6 million player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2018-19 NBA season, LeBron James will officially become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Although James can still re-sign with the Cavs, they face competition from the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers, who both have enough cap space to sign him. While the Houston Rockets were considered an option, the 33-year-old ultimately opting out made the path to join Chris Paul and James Harden extremely difficult.
Heading into free agency, it was previously reported James is not interested in elaborate pitch meetings. After completing his 15th season, the four-time MVP has a clear understanding of the landscape of the NBA.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, James currently has no plans to meet with the Cavaliers when free agency officially begins:
When NBA free agency officially opens up Sunday at 12:01 a.m. ET, the Cleveland Cavaliers will not meet in person with LeBron James or his representatives, sources told ESPN.
At this stage of his career, James revealed family will be a huge factor in determining if he will re-sign with the Cavaliers or leave his hometown for the second time. As of right now, it appears Los Angeles is the favorite to sign him based on the on and off the court opportunities.
For president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka, they have established a two-year window to sign an All-Star caliber player like James. However, if James ultimately signs this summer, Paul George and/or Kawhi Leonard (via trade) joining him is a possibility.
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