Here’s What LeBron’s Decision Friday Actually Means For The Lakers, Cavs & Rockets

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The summer of LeBron James continues. He could be in Southern California longer than usual. James will become a free agent in just a few hours from now.

The Lakers have always been favorites to sign James, who declined his $35.6-million player option with the Cavaliers yesterday, becoming an unrestricted free agent. At 12:01 a.m. ET Sunday, James will be an unrestricted free agent, and agent Rich Paul is expected to contact several teams with the Lakers and Cavs atop his list. He informed the Cavs from Anguilla Friday that he is opting out of the previous year of his contract. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported this week that James would not be seeking out elaborate pitch meetings during the free-agency process. Team personnel were unable to reach him that summer to consult him on what he wanted. This past week, the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook pulled title futures off the board in order to wait out James' free agency decision (and possibly a Kawhi Leonard trade). Coming off one of the best seasons of his career, James is one of the most sought-after free agents in the league's history. According to ESPN, James could still fetch as much as $207 million over five years from the Cavaliers, while other teams can offer a max of $152 million over four years.

This could be the Lakers chance to convince James that he should come to Los Angeles and play for them. The Cavaliers still advanced to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season, but the Warriors swept James, who turned in a Herculean effort. It doesn't mean he won't return to the Cavaliers.

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Back in 2016, James actually attended the home opener for the Rams against the Seattle Seahawks, which coincidentally happened to be their first regular season game back in Los Angeles after making the move from St. Louis.

Don't tell the National Basketball Association referees, but LeBron James is traveling.

Cleveland can offer the most money, and the Cavs are, after all, James' hometown team. If the Sixers make that trade, they probably wouldn't be able to add James, as well.

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