LeBron James faces Friday deadline on whether to test free agency

LeBron James faces Friday deadline on whether to test free agency

With LeBron James, Paul George and other All-Star caliber players hitting the free market, the Lakers are in prime position to pounce. Teams can begin negotiation with free agents at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. The four-time MVP passed on a deal with Cleveland that would have paid him $35.6 million during the 2018-19 season.

James could still return to Cleveland by signing a new contract with the Cavaliers, but he can also now negotiate a deal with any team he chooses. Superstar James Harden won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award earlier this week, and James has a strong relationship with Rockets point guard Chris Paul, who is also a free agent.

"He doesn't mind the thought of LeBron James leaving at all".

The Lakers, however, are able to sign James with cap space.

However, the prospect of pairing LeBron with Kyrie Irving again just a year after the latter wanted to be traded away from the Cavs to emerge from the former's shadow might not be very wise.

The Cavaliers have an advantage over other teams in their pursuit of James: The NBA's collective bargaining agreement allows teams to pay their own free agents more money than other teams through the Larry Bird exception, named for the Boston Celtics legend.

More news: Basketball: Free agent fireworks set to begin for NBA teams

Rumors about his next move are abounding, with many suggesting he's plotting a move to the Los Angeles Lakers.

However, at least one of the three-possibly more-would have to be included in any trade package the Lakers will offer to San Antonio in a bid to convince them to trade Kawhi Leonard.

James will factor family - he has three children, and his oldest son is a rising hoops star - into the choice of where he plays next.

James then carried the Cavs, with their flawed roster after a massive trading deadline turnover, through the Eastern Conference playoffs - they survived two Game 7s and swept the top-seeded Toronto Raptors - to the NBA Finals for a fourth straight meeting with the Golden State Warriors.

According to Smith, Durant did not see much reason to leave the Warriors, with whom he has won two straight National Basketball Association titles and Finals MVP awards, but Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com subsequently threw cold water on the report. He spoke Friday to Andrienne Alpert on the set of Eyewitness Newsmakers shortly after James became a free agent.

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