NBA free agency officially opens tomorrow. We should know where LeBron James is signing in a few days.
As of now, it looks like James' focus has crystallized on two teams: the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers. He opted out of his $35 million option for next season, which means the Houston Rockets have no shot at a sign-and-trade.
But what about the Philadelphia 76ers? Signing with Philly would enable LeBron to team up with rising stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, and it would keep him in the East, where he stands a better shot at reaching the NBA Finals.
Still, Philly looks like they are on the outside looking in. Just yesterday, ESPN's Brian Windhorst dubbed the Sixers "not a basketball match" for LeBron, but his colleague Adrian Wojnarowski thinks there is something different at play.
Speaking on a pre-free agency TV special with ESPN writer Zach Lowe, Woj was asked why Philly seems to be out of the mix. His answer focused more on off the court reasons.
It's a good question. Especially if you're LeBron James, at some point you say maybe I don't have to be the best player on my team. Now, he may be like 43 years old before (Joel) Embiid and Ben Simmons would be better. But he has two young players that, he wouldn't have to do as much. They'd match right up with Boston. He can walk right in the door there.
I think part of that is, LA is LA. He can plant his flag in LA, Hollywood, all of his outside interests, his entertainment company. All of those things come into play. Philly is a great NBA market. I don't want to say it's a lateral move from Cleveland, but if you're going to leave Cleveland again, I think it does have to be something that sparks everyone's imagination, and I do give the Lakers that over them.
Now, Philly doesn't have the allure of Los Angeles, this is true. But it isn't like Philly is the middle of nowhere, and it would be a step up market-wise from Cleveland.
Nevertheless, it looks like King James won't be playing for the City of Brotherly Love unless something changes in a big way.