It was the decision everyone was waiting for as free agency approached, and now LeBron James has made his latest decision.
On Friday morning, LeBron James reportedly declined his player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Superstar James Harden won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award earlier this week, and James has a strong relationship with Rockets point guard Chris Paul, who is also a free agent. Even that was a remote possibility. He has opted out and resigned with Cleveland before, and the Cavaliers can pay him more than any other team.
The 33-year-old has always been linked to the Lakers, partly because he has two homes in the Los Angeles area along with a film production company.
LeBron James could be leaving Cleveland, and TUMS wants to help Cavs fans deal with the potential loss. His option year for 2019-20 would be worth $38.2 million.
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers stands on the court during their game against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena on March 9, 2016 in Sacramento, California. James owns a home in Los Angeles and has spoken openly about his desire to be involved in Hollywood after his career his over.
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DeAndre Jordan declines his option, essentially ending tenure with Clippers
Obviously, a starting lineup of Jordan, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant , Klay Thompson and Draymond Green would be flat-out ridiculous. Dallas hoped Nerlens Noel could become a significant piece after trading for him at the deadline in 2017.
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".
If James exercises or picks up his option, the three-time champion would be under contract next season with the Cavs, but that would not preclude the Eastern Conference champions from trading him to acquire assets to build for the future.
The Cavaliers finished last season with a 50-32 record. Despite the loss, James extended his streak of Finals appearances to an unprecedented nine straight years. He could ink a short-term deal, which he's done since coming back to the Cavs. The Warriors lead the series 3-0 with Game 4 on Friday.
The Lakers, on the other hand, know exactly what they need to do: find another star to pair with James.