With the NBA’s free-agency period right around the corner on July 1, the draft did not offer any clarity as to where LeBron James will decide to play next season.
With James having until 11:59 p.m. on Friday to inform the Cleveland Cavaliers — who selected Alabama point guard Collin Sexton with the eighth overall pick in the draft — on his decision on the $35.6 million player option for the 2018-19 season, there is one thing that remains obvious.
James needs more help.
With that in mind, Sam Amick of USA Today believes the best option for James, who will turn 34 as he plays his 16th NBA season next year, could be to remain in Cleveland and attempt to convince other stars to join forces with him with the Cavaliers.
Yes, the market matters when it comes to finding a good fit for his family. And sure, he’ll consider the history of each franchise and how it might – or might not – reconcile with his personal story. But if James can’t find a co-star or two – and we’re talking about an All-Star caliber/Hall of Fame-bound type supporting cast – then it’s hard to see him leaving ‘The Land’ for a second time.
Better yet for the Cavs’ purposes? Do a deal to bring one of these talents his way in time to keep him from taking his talents elsewhere again – a la 2010.
This is James’ third major free-agent decision. He announced on ESPN he was leaving the Cavs for the Miami Heat on July 8, 2010. He his revealed his return via Sports Illustrated (as told to Lee Jenkins) on July 11, 2014.
He led each team to four consecutive appearances in the Finals, with the Cavs winning their lone championship in 2016.
Along with Cleveland, the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers are rumored to be his frontrunners.
He played in all 82 games this past season, averaging 27.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds. He increased his scoring average to a whopping 34.0 points in 22 postseason games.