SAN ANTONIO – The rumors of LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to go to the San Antonio Spurs are heating up, and this year’s NBA season hasn’t even hit All-Star weekend.
According to ESPN NBA reporter Chris Haynes, James plans to listen to a handful of teams this offseason after he’s expected to decline his $35.6 million player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
ESPN Sources: LeBron James could meet with Golden State Warriors during free-agency. https://t.co/6VACFDFf4M— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 1, 2018
The move will make James an unrestricted free agent for the third time in his career.
In a radio interview with 710 ESPN Los Angeles, Haynes said James and his business team will give teams such as the Spurs, Golden State Warriors and his former team the Miami Heat a chance to present their proposals out of respect for the organization.
.@ChrisBHaynes tells us now on @ESPNLosAngeles if these teams had a max slot LeBron would listen to them b/c he respects them. Teams are the Warriors, Spurs, & less so the Heat (b/c he's been there done that). Wouldn't rule out Lakers, Cavs & Rockets. No Clippers.— Jorge Sedano (@Sedano) February 1, 2018
Haynes also said LeBron will consider meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and the Cavaliers.
“I think they view the Warriors in the pyramid with the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, you know, those teams with culture (and) stability,” Haynes said on ESPN. “It’s pure respect that if they (teams) had their books in order and had interest and reached out, they feel like they at least have to listen to them.”
Haynes noted that the proposals are only legitimate if the teams can create a max salary slot this offseason.
Rumors of James leaving for the Spurs come days after the superstar played in San Antonio, and in a postgame interview shared how much he loves head coach Gregg Popovich, calling him “one of my favorite guys ever.”
For Spurs fans, it was confirmation for them that LeBron wants to come to San Antonio after he took time out of his day to tweet on Jan. 28, “Happy Bday Coach Pop!! One of the best ever do (in my opinion thee best) and even more great guy! #Respect”.
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Spurs fans will rush to their screens to watch San Antonio face the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Feb. 25.