Sources: Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has declined his $35.6M player option for 2018-19 and will enter free agency.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 29, 2018
LeBron James has declined his player option, which vanquishes a possible opt-in-and-trade scenario.
So what does this mean for Philly?
Well, if LeBron was considering Boston or Houston as a destination, the easiest way to facilitate a transaction to either of those teams would be for LBJ to opt-in and get traded to Houston or Boston. Neither team has much financial flexibility, and so to acquire LeBron, they’d almost have to trade salary to Cleveland (along with assets to entice Cleveland to take on someone, like say, Ryan Anderson and his $41.6+ million salary over the next two season).
If Houston and Boston are out, that means the odds for Philly increase by nature of LBJ’s possible destinations shrinking. Maybe slightly, maybe drastically. I’d bet somewhere in between. I’m not in LeBron’s head, but most people who are plugged into the situation frame it that the Sixers are third in the race to secure the King, behind the Lakers and the Cavaliers.
Free agency begins in two days.