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Along with the hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James is expected to visit with no less than four teams before or during the free agency period in July, according to multiple reports.
James reportedly has plans to speak with the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, as well as the Cavs.
ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith, who broke the news LeBron would leave the Cavs for the Heat in 2010, was the first to report James’ plans for this offseason.
The San Antonio Spurs are also expected to attempt to secure a meeting with James, who has made eight straight appearances in the Finals.
James has a $35.6 million player option on his contract with the Cavs — which he is expected to decline and become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He gave no clues during his season-ending press conference where he will play next season.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said.
He added that his family will be a “huge part of whatever I decide to do.”
Others who could potentially play a role: Rockets point guard Chris Paul and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George. Both are also entering free agency, and James and Paul are especially close.
“If Paul stays with the Rockets, Houston becomes a dangerous player, no matter how complicated it would be for the 65-win Rockets and their general manager Daryl Morey, to orchestrate the requisite salary-cap gymnastics to bring James in,” wrote Marc Stein of the New York Times.
“But don’t discount the idea that James could try to bring Paul with him to a team that can afford two superstars, such as the Lakers, because he and Paul really are that close.”
Stein also floated the idea that James could reach out to Golden State forward and Finals MVP Kevin Durant — another free agent. Durant told ESPN last week that he intends to re-sign with the Warriors.
Still, the possibilities are endless when it comes to James and free agency, with the 33-year-old superstar showing no signs of slowing down. He compiled a whopping eight games of at least 40 points and four triple-doubles in this year’s playoffs alone.
“I still want to be in championship mode,” he said. “I think I’ve shown this year why I will still be in championship mode.”