Published: Tue, July 03, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

James declines Cavs deal and becomes free agent

James declines Cavs deal and becomes free agent

James had until 11:59 p.m. EDT to express his intentions to the Cavs, and his agent Rich Paul informed the team in the morning, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity to the AP because the sides are not publicly commenting on moves ahead of free agency opening Sunday.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Sixers will be pitching James the opportunity to not only play alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, but also the possibility to play alongside San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard.

ESPN reported neither James nor his management team will sit down with Cavaliers powerbrokers when the free agency period officially opens later this weekend as he decides whether to remain with the franchise he led to an NBA Championship in 2016 or take his talents elsewhere next season. In reality, that should come as no surprise, since the team has already met with James' representatives and knows that his preference is to stay with the team, if possible. The Los Angeles Angels can have Mike Trout, the best player in baseball, and still be thoroughly mediocre because he gets only four or five at-bats a game. But there are at least three other teams - and maybe an outsider or two - with legitimate shots at landing the three-time MVP, who made it clear following this year's NBA Finals that he's still driven to win championships.

Only about four hours until James can be free to make a decision. They've failed to land any of the big-name free agents - with Paul George, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan signing deals with other teams.

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.

Which side of the proverbial fence James is leaning on is still a bit unclear.

According to ESPN, this is the longest deal James has signed since he signed a six-year-deal with the Miami Heat back in 2010.

"LeBron James, four time NBA MVP, three-time NBA finals MVP, 14-time NBA All-Star, and two-time Olympic gold medallist, has agreed to a four-year $154 million contract with he Los Angeles Lakers", Klutch Sports Group said in a statement.

If James stays and takes the supermax, he'll match Russell Westbrook's deal with the Thunder and have one of the top salaries in the National Basketball Association next season. He already has a home and myriad business interests in Los Angeles.

James was recently spotted in Los Angeles, heating up the speculation that he could sign with the Lakers.

And all those clubs - Golden State, Oklahoma City, Houston, the Lakers, even Denver by locking up Nikola Jokic for $150 million and Will Barton for $54 million - could definitively say they were thrilled.

The Lakers of course aren't the only team that would love to land James.

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