LeBron James contacted Kevin Durant about leaving Golden State Warriors

Saturday, 30 Jun, 2018

Still, after accepting the league's Rookie of the Year award Monday in Los Angeles, Simmons made the case for why a player like James should want to join the up-and-coming Sixers.

The Houston Rockets nearly certainly would have needed to acquire James in an opt-in-and-trade scenario. He also opted out of his contract with the Cavs in 2015 to sign a new "one-plus-one" deal, and then opted out of his contract again in 2016 to sign a new deal with two years guaranteed and a player option for the third year. Even that was a remote possibility.

The decision to decline the option for 2018-19 was expected by James because it gives him more options, which includes him re-signing with the Cavs, who can offer him a five-year, $209 million contract. The Rockets' most feasible path to acquiring James was through a trade, as the team would have to free up substantial cap space to sign him in free agency. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith reported on Thursday James had texted Kevin Durant about teaming up on the Lakers, though it seems unlikely Durant would leave Golden State.

Fast forward a year, and it looks like another superstar player isn't interested in playing with James either.

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Had James opted in, he could have orchestrated a trade to a team like the Houston Rockets, just as Chris Paul did when left the Los Angeles Clippers an offseason ago.

Fans in OH will now hold its breath as they prepare to experience their hometown star go through the free agency period again.

While LeBron weighs his options in the Decision Cave, Brian Windhorst noted today that the 33-year old All-Star is "pretty focused on Los Angeles or Cleveland" and has turned down offers to meet with some other National Basketball Association teams, according to Bleacher Report's Ryan Cole. "So I think experience plays a big role", in winning, Simmons said.

James also said he always felt like he would come back to Cleveland to finish his career where it began. No team can offer James as much money or as many years as the Cavs. Between a potential Paul George signing or Kawhi Leonard trade, the Lakers could quickly pile up stars in sunny California. It will likely continue up until the time that James makes his decision.