Cavaliers reporter's brilliant strategy for handling LeBron's free agency

Cavaliers reporter's brilliant strategy for handling LeBron's free agency

Houston and Cleveland could still conceivably work out a sign-and-trade, but doing so is far more complicated than simply making a deal would have been had James picked up his player option.

James had until 11:59 p.m. on Friday to take up the option to remain with Cleveland for at least one more season. Even that was a remote possibility.

The Cavs, which own James' Bird rights, can offer him a new five-year contract worth $207.4 million, based on the league's projected $101 million salary cap for next season.

Free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. ET Sunday, and the balance of power in the National Basketball Association could shift if James chooses to leave Cleveland and create a new superteam with the Los Angeles Lakers or join a burgeoning power such as the Houston Rockets or Philadelphia 76ers.

The good news: LeBron helped get Cleveland its first major sports title in 52 years. But before you start going insane and reconstructing each team's roster in the hopes of adding James, let's just examine the realistic options.

James is widely expected to choose between the Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

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McMenamin posted it on Instagram and says that this is "to save me from some repetitive conversations in the next few days when I leave the apartment and go on coffee runs downtown to fuel the free agency grind".

LeBron James will officially become a free agent on July 1.

Still, the two are not guaranteed the same path this offseason, as Kawhi would have to get traded if he wants to team up with LeBron outside of San Antonio. Los Angeles would give him the best opportunity to paint on a blank canvas and bring/recruit other stars to join up with him. The Rockets pushed the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors to seven games in the Western Conference finals last month.

"For me, it wasn't about money", Wade said. "I didn't realize that four years ago". This isn't insignificant. If James looks around the league and doesn't see a situation he loves, he can [looks up teen slang] secure the bag by signing a long-term deal in Cleveland.

The bottomline: James' options are basically down to teams with cap space.

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