LeBron James Rumors: Cavaliers Star Expected to Decide on Future Before July 4

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2018

Cleveland Cavalier's LeBron James gestures during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference basketball finals in Boston, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is reportedly expected to make a final decision about whether to stay with the Cavs or join a new team before Independence Day.

Adam London of NESN provided the update from ESPN's Brian Windhorst, who's covered James' entire career, about what could be a quick foray into free agency.

"Everybody will be on holiday on July 4. It will be over by then," Windhorst said on The Lowe Post podcast last week.

James has a few different options on the table.

The four-time NBA MVP could opt into the final year of his contract, which would pay him $35.6 million for the 2018-19 season, per Spotrac.

He could facilitate a sign-and-trade deal, inking a long-term max extension with the Cavaliers and then getting dealt to his team of choice.

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Or he could decline the player option and hit the open market.

The Los Angeles Lakers are the betting favorite (-150) to land James, according to OddsShark. They are followed by the Philadelphia 76ers (+450), Cavaliers (+500), Boston Celtics (+700) and Houston Rockets (+800).

On Monday, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com reported the three-time NBA champion has "no intention of hearing elaborate pitch meetings from teams." That lends credence to the idea he could decide quickly.

The 33-year-old Ohio native has cautioned against taking too much stock in anonymous reports leading up to his potential foray into the open market, telling reporters in February: "If you don't hear something coming from my voice, then it's not true. ... If it's not from me, it's not true."

One thing's for sure: James' decision will play a major role in determining the NBA's balance of power heading into next season and beyond.

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