James is also being pursued by the Los Angeles Lakers, who have enough salary-cap space to sign him and another star player. James owns a home in Los Angeles and has spoken openly about his desire to be involved in Hollywood after his career his over.
A source familiar with the Cavs' thinking said re-signing James is Cleveland's "Plan A, B and C" when it comes to free agency. They are effectively out of the LeBron James Sweepstakes, though they are expected to keep free-agent-to-be Chris Paul.
James then carried the Cavs, with their flawed roster after a massive trading deadline turnover, through the Eastern Conference playoffs - they survived two Game 7s and swept the top-seeded Toronto Raptors - to the NBA Finals for a fourth straight meeting with the Golden State Warriors.
While every team dreams of being ruled by King James, only a few have a legit chance of signing him.
Philadelphia has the ability to pay James the maximum salary allowed by the National Basketball Association, "a $35.6 million annual maximum salary, potentially partnering him with two of the NBA's best young stars, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons", the ESPN reporter noted, adding that $35.6 million was also what James would have made with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018-2019. The team has gone 265-63 in his four seasons at the helm, making four trips to the NBA Finals and winning three titles.
As NBA free agency kicks off, rumors continue to swirl that LeBron James is targeting the Los Angeles Lakers. The Cavs can offer a five-year, $205 million max deal, while the Los Angeles Lakers have four years and $152 million on the table.
There will be a lot of coverage of this story this summer and a lot of let down once LeBron signs a long term deal with his current team with an opt out after two seasons, leaving us to have the same conversation two years from now.
In 2010, James bolted Cleveland in a nationally televised announcement "The Decision", infamously declaring he was taking his "talents to South Beach" and joining Miami.
The fact that he didn't pick up his option could be good news for anxious Cavs fans, who fear James may leave them for the second time in his career.
After an entire year of speculation about James' decision this free agency, the Lakers have seemed to be the favorite for a longtime with teams like Houston, and Philadelphia catching up in the race late in the season. He averaged 14.1 points and 11 rebounds in 71 games, all starts, and shot a career-best 59 percent from the field.
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