Published: Sun, July 01, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

LeBron back in Los Angeles as start of free agency nears

LeBron back in Los Angeles as start of free agency nears

James has given the Cleveland Cavaliers notice and is opting out the final year of his contract which is worth a reported $35.6 million. However, LeBron's options may be more limited than they seem, because they typically rely on convincing another player to join him. He had a non-guaranteed $1.5 million deal for the upcoming season with a $1.6 million team option for 2019-20.

But there will be stiff competition to woo James. James loves the Hollywood lights, and with two homes in the Los Angeles area as well as a film production company, he has already established some roots in the land of movie stars and slow-moving traffic. James has not publicly commented on what team he will sign with as his family and close advisers consider offers at his "decision cave" in the Caribbean. Houston has a strong supplemental piece in big man Clint Capela, who emerged as a strong player this season. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported this week that James would not be seeking elaborate pitch meetings during the free-agency process. That includes the Cavaliers, who can offer more money than anyone else.

He led his team to the Finals, eventually being swept aside by Golden State.

The Cavaliers do not intend to trade Kevin Love if they lose LeBron James in free agency this summer, and would rather try to make the playoffs than immediately begin rebuilding without their iconic star. The Cavs, who for now are way over the NBA's projected $101 million salary cap and have only a few roster spots to fill, are not expected to make an early splash outside of whatever happens with James.

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Still, there could be a mystery team that emerges for James' services.

In 2010, James bolted Cleveland in a nationally televised announcement "The Decision" infamously declaring he was taking his "talents to South Beach" and joining the Miami Heat.

So even when the clock hits 12:01 a.m. Sunday, there's a good chance there will still be plenty of waiting. Their 16 National Basketball Association titles is second only to the Boston Celtics, and with hall of fame player and former Laker point guard Magic Johnson in charge, the Lakers are as enticing as ever to free agents.

The 5-foot-9 former Kentucky player averaged 7.8 points, 4.4 assists and 23.4 minutes in 71 games last season.

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