Reports: Latest LeBron James free agency rumors include Cavaliers, Lakers, Rockets, and 76ers
What's the story?
Bleacher Report is reporting on the latest regarding LeBron James' future in the NBA after this season. According to Kevin O'Connor from The Ringer, the list is narrowed down to four teams for where LeBron would play the 2018-19 season.
In case you didn't know
James is currently in his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was drafted by them in 2003 and played there until 2010. He then made the controversial choice to televise "The Decision" where he announced that he was going to the Miami Heat. He returned to Cleveland in the 2014 season.
The heart of the matter
The Los Angeles Lakers are in rebuilding mode and originally stated they were not going to go after a max-level superstar this offseason, and wait until the 2019 offseason instead. They are currently 29-35 and 11th in the Western Conference.
The Philadelphia 76ers have been rebuilding for a while, but are finally starting to show signs of improvement with their talented young roster. They are currently in the playoff picture in 6th place within the Eastern Conference at 35-28.
The Houston Rockets are the best team in basketball right now at 51-13. USA Today posted an article last December about the logistics of getting LeBron within the salary cap. They would likely have to trade Ryan Anderson and Chris Paul would need to take less money.
There is obviously the choice to stay at home in Cleveland, but it seems like they may be a long shot to retain the four-time NBA MVP.
James is still with the Cavaliers (38-26) and they will travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers (34-29) on Friday evening. The game will be broadcasted on NBA TV.
My gut feeling all along was that James would go to either Los Angeles with the Lakers or Philadelphia with the 76ers, but Houston proposes an interesting scenario. If they can somehow make the model work like Golden State did when they signed Kevin Durant, they could have an outside shot.
In the end, I still feel like LeBron will end up in Philly with that core group of amazing young talent.