Since the final buzzer of the NBA Finals, the future of Cleveland star and soon-to-be free agent LeBron James has dominated the league.
James has until June 29 to decide whether to accept or decline his $35.6 million player option with the Cavaliers. If he declines, James will become the most highly-coveted free agent on the market.
The Cavs could offer James a super-max contract worth $205 million over five years, or he could go elsewhere for a four-year, $152 million deal.
There's a chance that James could return to Cleveland but the Lakers are among the top contenders to pick up James, along with the Rockets and the Sixers. Despite countless rumors and speculation, James has not indicated that he is leaning toward any team in particular.
“Look, no one knows [what he’s going to do]," TNT analyst and Hall of Famer Reggie Miller told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. "I don’t even think right now that he knows.”
Here are a few of the rumors surrounding where James will end up, and how he'll get there:
- The decision might be made as soon as July 4, as the star wants to avoid "elaborate pitch meetings" while making his choice. (Bleacher Report's Tim Daniels)
- James might not allow himself to be personally involved in negotiations this summer, opting instead to have his representative lead conversations. (USA Today's Sam Amick)
- It would take a mess of trades — and it's still not a likely pick for James — but the Sixers have the salary space to keep a move to Philadelphia in contention. (The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor)
- Although a move to the Rockets remains a "long shot," the Rockets are still pursuing him at full force. (USA Today's Sam Amick)
- After last season's tampering scandal, the Lakers are taking the back seat to avoid future fines. But even the Lakers, who have the best odds to land James, are uncertain where he's moving in the next week. (USA Today's Sam Amick)