LeBron James to have conversations with Warriors, Rockets, Sixers, Celtics this summer
LeBron James is bound to have perhaps his most pivotal offseason, likely choosing the team with which he will spend the rest of his prime with, following this grueling postseason.
According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith (via Clevis Murray of The Athletic), James is bound to have conversations with many of the heavy-hitters, including the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, and yes… the Golden State Warriors.
This could spark the making of the next superteam, as all of these four teams have already playoff-ready rosters to compete in the playoffs, with three of them having made it into the Conference Finals.
Out of the four, Philadelphia is the only team with cap space to realistically warrant a shot to sign James as a free agent, with the Celtics, Rockets, and Warriors already with max contracts in place that could prevent them from signing James for a three-year pact or longer.
If James chooses to go the one-and-one route (two-year deal with player-option in second year), there will be more flexibility for these teams, but James will still command a beefy salary for his services, this time around unlikely to offer any discounts.
The Celtics would have to surrender one of their star players to make room for James (likely a sign-and-trade), while the Rockets would have to pass on signing Chris Paul to a deal to land him.
The Sixers will have the space, but no position to play him in, with Ben Simmons playing small forward next to a player that needs the ball in his hands (just like him) to be effective on the court.
The Warriors are elbows-deep in the luxury tax and would have to move plenty of assets to make that happen, making them the furthest longshot of the four destinations.
Worthy to note are the two teams not included in Smith’s report — the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers, who were reportedly aiming to make him a target this offseason, later rumored to have changed their strategy to a younger 2019 free agent class, featuring the likes of L.A. native Kawhi Leonard.
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