LeBron declines option, becomes free agent

Heather Diaz
July 4, 2018

As NBA free agency kicks off, rumors continue to swirl that LeBron James is targeting the Los Angeles Lakers. He has two homes in the L.A. area and has been spotted checking out local schools for his children in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

According to a source close to LeBron, the National Basketball Association star notified the Cleveland Cavaliers that he will opt out of his contract before the player option expires at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Houston could acquire James in a sign-and-trade deal, but it would require a third team to complete the transaction.

A source familiar with the Cavs' thinking said re-signing James is Cleveland's "Plan A, B and C" when it comes to free agency.

By declining his $35.6 million player option for next season, James will become the top player available on the free agent market and will have his choice of teams to join next season.

LeBron James is opting out of the final year of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and officially becoming an unrestricted free agent, according to multiple reports on Friday morning.

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It is unclear at this point if an in-person meeting between James and the Cavs has been scheduled down the line. If he's more valuable to the Cavs, then he might be more valuable to other teams. Although he might be interested in joining the team, James has also made it clear he is focused on being in position to play for championships.

Gilbert and James mended some fences for his return in 2014, but they remain distant other than a shared commitment to winning.

James is also being pursued by the Lakers, who have enough salary-cap space to sign him and another star player.

"The Lakers are FOREVER gonna be Kobe's and Magic's team", Embiid wrote, referring to Kobe Bryant and Johnson. Days later, James was gone.

Gilbert has been known to love getting the credit, but unlike his baseball team, the Cleveland Indians; all the credit would rest on James as the face of the franchise, leaving little to no spotlight for him to shine through. Philadelphia would instantly vault from conference contender to favorite with James, who could make a strong run at his ninth straight Finals in Year One.

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