According to multiple reports, LeBron James told the Cleveland Cavaliers today he will not exercise his $35.4 million option for the 2018-19 season.
As ESPN points out, he could very well re-sign with the team for a one-plus-one deal, giving him the option of free agency again next year in the summer.
"My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball", he said.
Yahoo's Jordan Schultz reported that Leonard reached out to James to discuss going to the Lakers, with Leonard saying he would like to play alongside James.
After the departure of Kyrie Irving last summer, James has been a lone soldier for much of the year and nearly single-handedly dragged his team back to the finals.
LA also gives James the opportunity to build up his off-the-court business and entertainment ventures.
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LeBron James could sign with the 76ers..
Like James, Durant can opt-out of his contract.
James, who has kept a low profile on social media for months, has been on vacation with his wife and three children, giving him a chance to recover from perhaps the most exhausting season of his career and plot the next chapter. Philadelphia's young and upcoming stars are also an intriguing choice.
However, the playing style and overall fit seems to present problems.
He's expected to make a decision before the Fourth of July holiday, ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst said in a recent podcast interview. That is. not exactly how you'd describe Simmons and Embiid, not to mention Markelle Fultz. "Why would I think about doing something like that?" I don't know what Kevin Durant's response to him was. Basically, James is now likely to only sign with a team that has ample cap space. The Houston Rockets and the Boston Celtics, the former probably being more relevant in this discussion.
So LeBron is left to choose between teams with max cap space or an easy path to max space.
The most feasible path for James to go to Houston was by picking up his action and demanding a trade to the Rockets.
It is unlikely, though, that telling James to leave Cleveland - only to wait a year to have championship-level talent around him - will be a winning sales pitch.