Published: Tue, July 03, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

LeBron James Will Reportedly Announce His Next Team on Tuesday

LeBron James Will Reportedly Announce His Next Team on Tuesday

As NBA free agency kicks off, rumors continue to swirl that LeBron James is targeting the Los Angeles Lakers.

Spurs superstar Leonard is believed to have requested a trade away from San Antonio earlier this month after becoming disillusioned with the team's treatment of his recent injury problems.

A league source familiar with the Cavs' thinking told ESPN that the franchise has found it hard to plan for its full team around James with the way he has approached his free agency, which could prompt hesitancy by free agents or trade partners to complete deals with Cleveland in the interim. James, who grew up just outside the city in Akron, spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Cavaliers and led them deep into the playoffs his final five seasons. James agreed to a four-year deal worth $154 million, meaning his streak of eight consecutive Eastern Conference championships - four with Miami, four with the Cavs - will end next year. But does he have enough time to let a group of unproven players with no postseason experience develop into a title contender?

Cleveland has a couple of other veterans from last year's team set to be free agents - Jeff Green and Jose Calderon - but neither is considered a "first-pass" guy and should be still on the market after the Cavs have figured out James' plans.

National Basketball Association free agency opens in less than eight hours. 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.

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They'd also need scoring off the bench, and there are several free agents who would jump at an opportunity to have this kind of prominent role on a team like the Lakers. The Lakers are the current favorite to land James, but the Sixers and Rockets are also in the running.

Which side of the proverbial fence James is leaning on is still a bit unclear.

Los Angeles is among the teams in the mix to land James after his agent told the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday that he will not exercise his $35.6 million contract option for next season. The only problem was they got swept by the Warriors, and James appeared to be mulling free agency before the series even ended. In Los Angeles, championships are the standard and he'll feel new pressure in upholding the legacies of Johnson, Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West and other Lakers greats. In my opinion, joining either of those clubs would give James a much better opportunity to overthrow his arch rivals in Golden State. General manager Bryan Colangelo's resignation following an investigation into whether he created Twitter accounts to criticize his own players, has given the impression that the team isn't operating in concert and then would turn off James quickly.

The chance to join one of the league's most iconic franchises has an appeal to James and he said following this year's Finals that he remains in "championship mode".

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