LeBron James officially enters free agency

Basketball: Free agent fireworks set to begin for NBA teams

LeBron James becomes an unrestricted free agent

The Lakers will be desperate to convince James to head West for the first time in his career, particularly after missing out on the signing of Paul George last night.

Heading into free agency, it was previously reported James is not interested in elaborate pitch meetings. However, if James ultimately signs this summer, Paul George and/or Kawhi Leonard (via trade) joining him is a possibility.

A league source familiar with the Cavs' thinking told ESPN that the franchise has found it hard to plan for its full team around James with the way he has approached his free agency, which could prompt hesitancy by free agents or trade partners to complete deals with Cleveland in the interim.

Famously, following the win, Jefferson announced his retirement from the National Basketball Association, only to come back and help the Cavaliers make their third consecutive trip to The Finals in 2017.

If his decision is based on an economic reason, the Cavs should be his first choice, as they can offer him a five-year, $205M deal ($41M per year) while other teams can offer four years, $152M ($38M per year). And by coming to Philly, James believes he would have a great chance to play in his ninth consecutive NBA Finals. More than that, he has let his agent Rich Paul and the rest of his team handle dealings with teams (although LeBron himself has reached out to players he wants to team up with - player-to-player is not tampering under the NBA's rules).

Free agency officially begins at 12:01 EST on Sunday morning.

Gilbert, whose relationship with James improved after the Cavs' title but was always a source of speculation, went on to credit the four-time MVP for delivering on his promise to make Cleveland a championship city. Once James makes his decision, other free agent dominos will continue to fall. The only problem was they got swept by the Warriors, and James appeared to be mulling free agency before the series even ended.

Steve Kerr, who led the Warriors to two straight National Basketball Association titles, has meanwhile agreed to a deal which will make him one of the highest-paid coaches, ESPN reported.

On Friday, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers did the expected and declined his option to make over $35 million next season as a Cavalier, thus becoming an unrestricted free agent. That came after the King was spotted landing in Los Angeles. He already has a home and myriad business interests in Los Angeles. Keep in mind, the Lakers will also be able to add some veterans willing to sign for the minimum if James end up in Los Angeles.

Embiid sounds like someone who's either a little sore his team isn't going to get picked, or perhaps he's playing some brain games with James.

For James's former team, the Cavaliers, Sunday marks the beginning of the second post-James era in franchise history.

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