LeBron James opts out, becomes Sixers free agent target

LeBron James

But Vardon reports that James is enamored with the Lakers. But imagine how much hate he'll get if he teams up with LeBron James next season.

Teams in the National Basketball Association can negotiate with free agents at midnight Sunday and the moratorium before they can sign new contracts ends July 6.

James would be eligible to sign a five-year, $205 million free-agent deal with Cleveland this summer. The Rockets were hoping James would make a similar decision, allowing them to construct another trade to add James to a roster that won an NBA-leading 65 games last season.

The 76ers' top off-season target has informed his current team that he intends to become an unrestricted free agent. The team would be top heavy, but with some shrewd maneuvering the Lakers could have their non-taxpayer mid-level exception available, a almost $9 million chip to bring in another solid free agent.

In 2010, James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat, announcing his decision on an ESPN special that irked many.

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What does that mean for the Cavs?

James already has some shallow roots on the West Coast with two homes in the Los Angeles area and a film production company.

This time around, James opting out strongly hurts Houston's chances of landing the King. Whatever the case, Philly is firmly in the LeBron running, and they have the ability to bring in two stars to join Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

At Monday's NBA Awards, he came second in the MVP voting behind Houston's James Harden.

He played all 82 games for the first time and averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds per game and a career high 9.1 assists per game while shooting 54.2 percent from the field. He showed no signs of slowing down, if anything he had found a new gear. The Cavaliers could go over the salary cap to re-sign James because they own his "Bird rights", named for Celtics legend Larry Bird, but any other team he signs with would have to create enough space to sign him under the cap.

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