NBA free agency opens up on Sunday. Things are about to get crazy.
Wherever LeBron James winds up signing, it should ultimately dictate how the rest of free agency will play out. Teams will wait until James has made his decision before going about their offseason plans.
As Ryen Russillo pointed out this morning, there is still the possibility that James "opts in" to another year in Cleveland, which would open up the possibility of a sign-and-trade with another team. If that happens, the Houston Rockets would be very interested.
According to USA Today's Sam Amick,. the Rockets are still "all in" on adding James, even though the odds of them doing so are not great.
As was the case with Paul last summer when he forced his way out with the Clippers, it remains possible that James could opt in to his current deal and force a trade to a team like the Rockets by making it clear that he’ll opt out and leave in free agency if the Cavs don’t comply. And while Houston is considered a longshot to land James, that isn’t about to keep Rockets general manager/newly-named Executive of the Year Daryl Morey from trying.
According to a person with knowledge of their situation, the Rockets are still all in on pursuing James – even if Harden made it clear that it was hardly a necessity. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
If LeBron leaves Cleveland and signs somewhere else in free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers seem like the most likely options.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact that multiple Cavs players reportedly feel there is a chance James re-ups with his hometown team. That goes against what most insiders have felt would happen but LeBron has pulled surprises before.
Buckle up, because from the time free agency kicks off until LeBron actually reveals his plans, the rumor mill will be out of control.