LeBron James returns to LA hours before free agency opens

Rival GM: LeBron James would 'let the roster come together' for Lakers

Rival GM: LeBron James would 'let the roster come together' for Lakers

Despite the Palmdale, California, longstanding desire to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, OKC rolled the dice on a year of playing with Westbrook and being immersed in the Thunder culture to seal George's decision to stay as a free agent. He could be there longer than usual. He has two homes and a film production company in the Los Angeles area.

"If the Lakers can close the deal in that meeting, they have a great chance of stealing LeBron James away from the Cavaliers". He joins LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and others as some of the top free agents this year.

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' decision to opt out of his contract shrinks the number of teams that could be potentially pursuing him.

Friday, Lebron James officially entered free agent territory once again when he opted out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. 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.

As the window nears for LeBron James to let the Cleveland Cavaliers know if he will become a free agent, speculation is at an all-time high.

James' decision all but eliminates the New Orleans Pelicans of acquiring the superstar forward because they are already have over $100 million worth of contracts on the books for the 2018-19 season, per Spotrac. At the moment, most have James pinned as either making a move to either Philly or Los Angeles if he chooses not to return with the Cavs. Philadelphia, who finished third in the East last season, can give him reigning Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons and All-NBA talent Joel Embiid. That's made it tough for Cleveland to upgrade its roster, but the Cavs remain committed to bringing back James even for just one more year.

But the expectation is the Lakers, who have plenty of spending room under the National Basketball Association salary cap, will make a run at James and George and offer draft picks and players to San Antonio for Leonard. James isn't expected to attend the meeting, which is the first significant chance for the 76ers to make case a free-agent case to James, league sources said. He averaged 14.1 points and 11 rebounds in 71 games, all starts, and shot a career-best 59 percent from the field.

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