While the majority of the headlines for this summer have been centered around what Carmelo Anthony does or doesn’t do, it’s easy to forget that LeBron James will most likely become a free agent as well.
James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all signed contracts in 2010 that allowed them to opt-out after four seasons, or after the 2013-14 year. With the likelihood that they’ll all be opting out, if you do the math, James will become a sought after free agent once again.
And according to ESPN, the Miami Heat consider the Los Angeles Clippers to perhaps be the most serious competition to sign James if/when he opts out.
“This time is going to be different,” a source close to James said about James’ view of free agency. “If LeBron decides to look at other options it won’t just be teams with cap space. He has 30 options if he wants them.”
League executives believe the Heat would ask for Blake Griffin in return from the Clippers. Los Angeles would need to shed additional salary.
“LeBron is not thinking about free agency right now, he’s totally focused on the season,” said one James associate. “In the summer he knows he can get to any team he wants to.”
The Clippers will not have cap space to sign James outright and would require a sign-and-trade involving the cooperation of the Heat. It’s been known that Chris Paul and James have been good friends for some time now, and James has also talked highly of Clippers coach Doc Rivers in the past — so if you’re looking for any kind of connection, there it is.
Still, at the moment, it’s all hearsay. You have to take everything you hear in February with a grain of salt. The bottom line is that, once again, there is going to be a lot of teams interested in LeBron James, and he’ll get to pick whichever team he wants.