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.

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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