When free agency hits at 12:01 a.m. ET on Sunday, don’t expect LeBron James to jet off to visit interested suitors.
That includes the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to ESPN, James doesn’t have a meeting scheduled with the Cavaliers after opting out of his contract on Friday. The network reported earlier in the week that James is unlikely to visit other teams or take an audience with suitors as he did in past free agent circuits. In fact, James might not even speak with top team officials before making a decision on his destination for next season.
James has been linked to multiple teams in free agency, most notably the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers. The Houston Rockets were also thought to be in the mix, although his opting out seems to scuttle their chances as the Rockets would have likely needed a sign-and-trade deal to make a move work.
James, 33, would have made $35.6 million in the 2018-19 season had he exercised his option with the Cavs. According to ESPN, James could still fetch as much as $207 million over five years from the Cavaliers, while other teams can offer a max of $152 million over four years.
He could still re-sign with Cleveland, although the strong current from national media is James appears ready to move again.
In 2014, he returned to the Cavaliers after an in-person meeting with team owner Dan Gilbert. Their relationship was never a great one, but has splintered in recent years.
In 2010, James bolted Cleveland in a nationally televised announcement “The Decision” infamously declaring he was taking his “talents to South Beach” and joining the Miami Heat. Before he joined the Heat, James had meetings with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers, where team representatives pitched the All-Star with personalized presentations and marketing plans.
James has played in the NBA Finals eight consecutive years.
—Field Level Media