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James in Los Angeles as free agency beckons

02 July, 2018, 08:26 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Wright of Fox Sports 1 is out with a report that says James has already come to a decision, and he'll announce it on Tuesday morning.

Representatives from the team met Sunday with James' agent Rich Paul in Los Angeles, a person familiar with the plans told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. After bolting from Cleveland in 2010, he returned in an emotional homecoming four years later, determined to make the Cavs champions.

Joel Embiid has been recruiting LeBron James to Philadelphia with no shame for months. With a potential package presumably focusing on Tobias Harris and perhaps young players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and/or Jerome Robinson, Los Angeles could emerge as a suitor for the two-way star.

As NBA free agency kicks off, rumors continue to swirl that LeBron James is targeting the Los Angeles Lakers.

LeBron James signs $154 million, 4-year contract with Los Angeles Lakers
The greatest player of his generation, and arguably the best of all-time, deciding to join your franchise will do that. Just hours before LeBron's decision leaked, The Ringer noted that the Lakers had the inside track on Cousins as well.

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. Maybe James will be OK with mentoring a bunch of young guys - and likely some vets who sign in order to play with him - and waiting for a trade or next summer's free agency to bring a genuine co-star.

It was reported Friday that James has informed the Cleveland Cavaliers he won't opt in for the final year of his contract with the team. It is also not yet known whether James will meet with the Cavaliers later down the line. As the official opening of free agency draws closer there's a strong sense that James is leaning toward the Lakers. James flew into L.A. after a family vacation in the Caribbean. Earlier this season, James was flattered when a Pennsylvania company paid for three billboards in OH urging James to come to Philadelphia, where the club has been abiding by a "Trust The Process" mantra while rebuilding.

According to ESPN, he could still fetch as much as US$207 million over five years from Cleveland, while other teams can offer a maximum US$152 million over four years. In Los Angeles, championships are the standard and he'll feel new pressure in upholding the legacies of Johnson, Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West and other Lakers greats. The Lakers are hoping they can persuade him to sign with them.

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