SAN ANTONIO – Less than 24 hours after the conclusion of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, ESPN has already laid out various pathways for LeBron James to join several teams this summer, including the San Antonio Spurs.
James is set to be a free agent and reports have indicated he will have meetings about his future with about eight teams.
The teams listed as possible options for James’ services are Cleveland, Golden State, Houston, the LA Clippers, the LA Lakers, Miami, Philadelphia and San Antonio.
For each franchise, the feature asks why LeBron would pick a particular team and how that team could make it work.
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In the case of the Spurs, James’ relationship with head coach Gregg Popovich and San Antonio’s history of prolonging the careers of its stars are two of the primary factors for why LeBron would choose San Antonio.
Things get more complicated with how it would work. James will require a max salary slot so that means San Antonio would have to make a number of roster adjustments.
Some of those adjustments, according to ESPN, include Danny Green and Rudy Gay not picking up their player options for next season and likely trading Pau Gasol to open cap space.
The other option would be a seismic move for the Spurs and the NBA. It suggest James picking up his player option with Cleveland and being traded to San Antonio for either LaMarcus Aldridge or Kawhi Leonard.
.@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
The Spurs are not known to make ground-shifting moves so this is entirely speculation, but ESPN NBA Insider Chris Haynes reported on Feb. 1 that James would listen to the Spurs because he respects Popovich and the organization.
Popovich was the overwhelming choice with 46 percent. Popovich gives San Antonio its best chance to land LeBron. It may not be a great chance, but there is at least, a chance.