If LeBron James opts out of his current contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and becomes the headlining act of the 2018 NBA Free Agent Class, he’s made it known that he is not interested in parades and televised specials.
This according to the latest report from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
James might meet or speak with a club official or owner at some point, but the elaborate presentations that have become common in NBA free agency over the years are unnecessary after 15 seasons in the league.
Should James become a free agent, league sources believe he and his agents Rich Paul and Mark Termini have enough understanding of the stakes and NBA landscape to handle the process without much fanfare.
This is a staunch change from what came with LeBron’s infamous first jump into free agency in 2010 featuring the televised special known as ‘The Decision.’ It’s even a subtle deviation from his 2014 jump into the open market, which concluded with James’ article in Sports Illustrated that explained his decision to return to Cleveland and sign with the Cavaliers.
Expected to indeed opt out of his deal and become a free agent, the 33-year-old’s third jump into legitimate free agency is likely to feature James meeting with as many as seven NBA teams. It’s believed that James’ list of meetings includes reps from the Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, L.A. Lakers, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, and Boston Celtics.
And given the rather ridiculous roster turnover it would require to sign him at his desired contract (as well as Kyrie Irving’s fairly obvious disinterest in reuniting with LeBron), the Celtics seem like an obviously unlikely destination for James. That’s not to say that Celtics president Danny Ainge is going to skip out on a meeting with the greatest player of this generation, especially if he shows a willingness to sit down and talk with the Celtics and their quest for the franchise’s 18th NBA title.
But at least they know they can leave Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at home this time around.