Rockets, Sixers could jump into mix if LeBron James opts into his contract
The Houston Rockets and the Philadelphia 76ers are outsiders looking in when it comes to the pursuit of LeBron James coming into this free agency period, with the race mostly being seen as one between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst argued that while this pursuit is between these latter two teams, the outsiders could jump in if James opts into his contract.
“There are other teams involved; obviously Houston, Philadelphia, etc,” said Windhorst. “But I really think this is a Cleveland or L.A. decision. Philly has some interest, and I think Houston, if LeBron opts into his contract could get involved.”
Opting into the last year of his deal represents a practical one-year rental for the Cavs, and if they indeed have been building this roster for the future after trading Kyrie Irving, they’d be smart to accept a trade package that could accelerate that process.
The Sixers have the assets and the temporary cap space to make that work, while the Rockets would have to make plenty of concessions contractually to add James to the fold.
If Houston remains committed to signing Chris Paul to a max deal, that complicates matters even more, leaving the front office with very little wiggle room to give James the max-level for his services.