LeBron James has until June 29 to decide whether he wants to opt-in to the final year of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers or become an unrestricted free agent.
The 33-year-old star is expected by most to enter the open market with the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets slated to try and court the King.
While LA doesn’t need to sell itself off the court, the Lakers might have an issue selling James on being able to compete for a title without another star or two joining the fold.
The 76ers, on the other hand, have young stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, who proved they could lead the team to the NBA playoffs this past season, and James might be the final piece to a championship process in the City of Brotherly Love.
“Trust the process,” Embiid told USA TODAY ahead of the 2018 NBA Draft. “The process worked out pretty well, we got 50 wins last year, we got a lot of talented players on the team. We feel like adding another piece of his caliber is going to help us.
“He’s the best player in the league at this moment, so I think he takes us to another level, which is important because at the end of the day, I want to be a champion,” Embiid said. “I want to do it myself. I want to have a lot to do with winning a championship or bringing a championship back to the city of Philadelphia.”
Wait, does Embiid want to do it himself or with James?
Either way, it seems like a longshot for James to head to Philly even with the combination of Embiid and Simmons trying to lure him. James likes having the ball in his hands to orchestrate the offense, and that would effectively negate Simmons’ effectiveness since the 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year lacks the ability to consistently knock down a jump shot.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images