LeBron won’t meet with Cavaliers in person when free agency opens

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Boston and Philadelphia could be wary of matching San Antonio's asking price because the two-time Defensive Player of the Year reportedly wants to sign with an L.A. team next summer.

Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. George reportedly will re-up with his current Oklahoma Thunder home, while Paul re-signed with the Houston Rockets for a maximum deal. On Sunday, at 12:01 a.m. eastern (11:01 p.m. central Saturday), James will be an unrestricted free agent, and agent Rich Paul is expected to contact several teams with the Lakers and Cavs atop his list.

James has spent his last four seasons in Cleveland, making a triumphant return to his hometown team after four seasons with the Miami Heat.

James then carried the Cavs, with their flawed roster after a massive trading deadline turnover, through the Eastern Conference playoffs - they survived two Game 7s and swept the top-seeded Toronto Raptors - to the NBA Finals for a fourth straight meeting with the Golden State Warriors. He has opted out and resigned with Cleveland before, and the Cavaliers can pay him more than any other team.

The potential of a superteam in Los Angeles or a partnership with his close friend Chris Paul in Houston is appealing - but leaving Cleveland in free agency will come at a significant cost.

With LeBron James telling the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday that he will not exercise his $35.6 million contract option for next season, where does that leave his future?

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James has played in the NBA Finals eight consecutive years.

Only a few days remain until the NBA's free-agent market is set to open, and the race for LeBron James is now at a breaking point.

What this signals more than anything else is that there could be much shifting around with the Lakers in their attempt to present a more feasible team with their pursuit of All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard. Los Angeles has increased its win total by exactly nine games in each of the last two years. The Cavs can offer James a five-year deal worth about $207 million.

George's choice could sway James to sign a short-term deal with Cleveland, but the Lakers are determined to get their hands on the four-time MVP. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid were already in Los Angeles, but we'll have to wait and see which other famous Philadelphians (if any) they were able to bring in for this one.

Always one to pride himself on efficiency, James shot 54.2 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from three-point range.

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