LeBron James Speaks to Cleveland GM as Free Agency Opens

Lakers still loom as a threat to Cavs hope to re-sign star player.

LeBron James
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The ball still may be in Cleveland’s court.

As soon as NBA free agency officially kicked off at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Sunday morning, Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman was on the phone with LeBron James and his agent, Rich Paul, sources told ESPN.

That comes despite rampant speculation that the four-time MVP would bolt his hometown team for a second time after opting out opt of the final year of his contract, which would have paid him $35.6 million in 2018-19.

“Had James opted in on Friday, the Cavaliers’ brass would have considered that a bad sign, as they believed his biggest motivation to do so would be to accommodate a trade to another team that didn’t have the cap space to sign him outright, such as the Houston Rockets,” reported ESPN. But speculation is still rampant that James could sign with Lakers, considering he has a home in Los Angeles.

Never-the-less, Cleveland still has the advantage to woo back James: The team can offer a max contract of $207 million over five years, compared to the $152 million over four years he could receive from another team.

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