LeBron James Will Talk To These 7 NBA Teams In Free Agency, Says Stephen A. Smith
on Jun 07, 2018 08:19 PM EDT
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is expected to talk to seven teams when he hits free agency in the summer, according to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN.
Smith, the outspoken host of ESPN's First Take, claims that James will meet with the Cavaliers, who can sign the superstar to an estimated five-year, $205 million maximum contract. Smith added that he expects James to talk to the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, and his former team, the Miami Heat, where he won his first two NBA titles.
Cavaliers Can Offer James More Money
In terms of contract value, the Cavaliers are ahead as the other teams can only offer James a four-year deal worth $152 million. James can become a free agent after this season if he opts out of the final year of his three-year deal with the Cavaliers. If James sticks with the Cavaliers next season, he will earn $35.6 million.
"Obviously they can offer him the most, and they are willing to do anything they can to keep him here," Smith said of the Cavaliers.
James said before the start of the season that he's focused on helping the Cavaliers win another NBA title, and he will decide his future after this season. James has carried the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals this season despite the team's lack of offensive firepower, with power forward Kevin Love as his reliable partner in scoring.
Warriors Must Clear Cap Space For James
The Warriors, who are one win away from their third NBA title in four years, could sign James, but they must clear cap space before they can do it. As of now, the Warriors are expected to spend $127 million in salary to eight players next season.
According to Kevin Pelton of ESPN, the Warriors can acquire James from the Cavaliers via a sign-and-trade deal. In that arrangement, the Warriors could ship Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala to the Cavaliers for James. Also, Kevin Durant would have to take a massive pay cut to accommodate James.
Could James, Kyrie Irving Co-Exist In Boston?
If the Boston Celtics make a move to get James, the biggest question is if Kyrie Irving is willing to play alongside him again. In July of 2017, Irving asked the Cavaliers for a trade as he was tired of being treated by James as a little brother.
If Irving is willing to co-exist with James in Boston, the Celtics must also create salary cap room to sign James to a maximum deal.