If LeBron James opts out of his deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers and becomes a free agent this summer, there will be seven contenders for his services, according to Stephen A. Smith.
There was a certain perennial NBA powerhouse missing from Smith’s list, however. But according to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, that team will do all it can to join the sweepstakes.
“The prominent ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith reported recently that James planned to speak to six teams in addition to the Cavaliers,” Stein wrote Friday. “Philadelphia, Houston, Miami and the Lakers were all mentioned — as were the juggernaut responsible for James’s 1-8 record in his last nine finals games (Golden State) and his longtime Eastern Conference nemesis (Boston).
“I’ve also been advised that the ever-persuasive San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is bound to try to force his way into the conversation to sell James on the merits of South Texas.”
James in San Antonio? Now that’s a scary thought.
As currently constituted, the Spurs aren’t close to contending with the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference. But a Popovich-coached trio of James, Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge surely would alter the NBA landscape.
Still, all signs point to the Los Angeles Lakers being the favorites to land James. He reportedly has a marketing plan in motion for a move to Hollywood, after all.
Don’t count out the Celtics just yet, though.
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