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It Appears To Be A 3-Team Race For LeBron James

LeBron James standing at center court with his arms crossed.

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 09: 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. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

On Friday morning, LeBron James reportedly declined his player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers. As a result, James will enter free agency.

His decision to decline the player option likely means that the Houston Rockets are out of the running to land LeBron due to the team's lack of cap space. Houston was baking on a sign-and-trade as their mode of landing LeBron.

With the Rockets out of the conversation, there appear to be three locations that remain in contention to land the King.

The Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Philadelphia 76ers remain as possible destinations, per ESPN's Kevin Pelton.

LeBron James declining his 2018-19 player option doesn't necessarily mean he's leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers. Because of the difficulty of completing a sign-and-trade deal, James opting out actually limits his options for leaving Cleveland to teams with cap space to sign him outright, leaving LeBron's likely outcomes as joining either the L.A. Lakers or Philadelphia 76ers or returning to the Cavaliers.

The heavy favorite in the LeBron James sweepstakes is Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Cavs have remained in the conversation. Would LeBron James want to play with Ben Simmons and the youngsters in Philadelphia?

That's a question we'll have to wait to answer.

LeBron's free agency has begun. Stay tuned to find out where the King will play his 16th NBA season.