NBA Free Agency: Does It Revolve around LeBron James’ Decision?
While the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors battle it out in the 2018 NBA Finals, the other teams are focused on improving for the 2018-19 season. Teams are prepping for both the NBA draft and NBA free agency. One player with many eyes on him is LeBron James. His current three-year, $100 million deal doesn’t end until after next season the NBA star can opt out of his deal after this season. As a result, fans are wondering if he will indeed opt out like he did before the final year of his previous contract.
However, will the entire period revolve around King James’ decision? Or will teams make their choices before he decides what he’s going to do?
This year unrestricted free agents can’t sign new deals until July 6 at 12 pm, however, the wheeling and dealing begin before then. That doesn’t mean that the rumors won’t start before then and players don’t already know where they are headed. It’s going to be a busy offseason with multiple stars like Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and DeMarcus Cousins are unrestricted free agents after this season. Likewise, trades and restricted free agents and their respective offer sheets only adds to the busy period of NBA Free Agency.
For James, he only has four teams on his list: Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Philadelphia 76ers. As a result, the other teams know they have no realistic shot at landing the star whether that’s due to salary cap restraints or due to James’ preference. Thus, James’ decision doesn’t make the free agency period revolve around him due to his “wish list” of teams and the fact that there are a lot of star players available during this year’s free agency period.
As a result, it would not be shocking if one of the teams on his list aren’t too patient to see what he does. They can’t afford to wait while other teams start smooth talking with other potential signings. The Rockets apparently already have a backup idea in case they don’t land James’ services. According to reports, Houston is looking at Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George who will be a UFA when the season ends.
It’s clear the NBA star wants to win and be at a place that regularly competes for a championship. He’s done that in Cleveland but he’s had to carry the load more times than not. During this year’s playoffs, the Cavaliers have lived and died based on how LeBron did especially during the West Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics.
LeBron’s decision will be debated and focused on throughout the NBA offseason by sports. Las Vegas has released various odds related to where he ends up playing during the 2018-19 season. Yet, his decision isn’t the only big move that will happen during the 2018 NBA free agency period and definitely won’t be the center of focus for NBA teams either