Billboards aimed at recruiting LeBron James to join the Rockets have gone up around the Houston area.
Later this month, James can opt out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and become an unrestricted free agent, meaning he would be able to sign with any team of his choosing. Should James exercise that option, he would become the most sought-after player in the NBA.
A billboard appeared in New York back in April with hopes of convincing James to join the Knicks. Now, Houston is getting in on the act with a billboard that reads “Hey LeBron, Strive For Houston.”
LEBRON TO H-TOWN: As the @HoustonRockets look to land @KingJames, one superfan has gone to the point of buying freeway billboard space to catch his attention | Where you can find this: https://t.co/UgWi311i43#HTownCrown pic.twitter.com/RLQrJH6HTd
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) June 22, 2018
According to KTRK, a Rockets superfan named Greg Andrews purchased the six billboards to recruit LeBron.
If James is in search of a situation that gives him a legitimate chance at dethroning the Golden State Warriors, the Rockets may be his best choice, provided they are able to retain the services of Chris Paul. The city of Houston would surely welcome James. It appears the feeling may not be mutual however.
The Cleveland Cavaliers made one pick in the NBA Draft Thursday night, and the player they took happens to be one that LeBron James and his camp are reportedly enamored with. Does that give the Cavs a better chance at re-signing LeBron in the coming weeks?
Ken Berger of Bleacher Report reached out to several executives around the NBA following the draft to ask them if the Cavs drafting Colin Sexton matters to LeBron, and there was definitive consensus.
The answers were swift, decisive and—as late character actor Lane Smith famously declared in My Cousin Vinny—I-DENTICAL.
However, Berger went on to note that the Cavs did not take LeBron’s opinion into consideration when making the No. 8 overall selection. Even if James is intrigued by the possibility of playing with Sexton, Cleveland knew giving LeBron his way in the draft would not be nearly enough in and of itself to convince him to stay.
Berger also reports that the Cavs have continued to explore the possibility of acquiring Kemba Walker in a trade with the Charlotte Hornets, but their best chance to complete a deal like that would have been with a package centered around the No. 8 pick.
Although most people seem convinced LeBron is going to leave Cleveland again, Cavs GM Koby Altman insist the team has had “good dialogue” with the four-time NBA MVP.
Koby Altman on LeBron James: “We continue to have good dialogue with his management team. LeBron has more than earned the right to approach his contracts the way he does”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 22, 2018
The Cavs were nowhere near the same class as the Golden State Warriors last season, and all signs point to one team being the favorite to sign LeBron. Unless they get some sort of guarantee from LeBron, the Cavs would be wise to operate as though he is leaving once again.
- LeBron James
Chris Paul is set to join a loaded class of free agents on July 1, but most of the reports we have heard about his offseason plans indicate the star point guard plans to remain with the Houston Rockets.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Monday night that Paul has been committed to re-signing with the Rockets and will do so unless the team suddenly changes course on their financial commitment to him. Rather than worrying about his own contract, CP3 is reportedly dedicating all of his energy to recruiting LeBron James.
“You know, Chris is going to return there. Right now, his focus isn’t so much on his own free agency, he’s trying to recruit LeBron James to Houston,” Wojnarowski said, as transcribed by RealGM. “Somebody close to him said to me, ‘He is as focused on recruiting LeBron as anything he’s done in this league. He wants to find a way.’
“You know Daryl Morey in Houston is always big game hunting. They love the ability to make changes with their roster and cap, be creative. If LeBron said he wanted to come to Houston, they can find a way to make it happen.”
While he’ll undoubtedly keep trying to convince LeBron, a separate report indicated Paul believes his close friend is going to sign with another team.
The Rockets don’t necessarily need LeBron, and there have been some questions about how their offense would look with LeBron, CP3 and James Harden all on the floor. Mike D’Antoni would have to change some things to make that work. The most important factor for Houston next season could be Paul’s health, as we saw how much the team missed him when he went down in the playoffs.
The chatter about LeBron James potentially heading to the Los Angeles Lakers continues.
On his radio show Monday, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported that Chris Paul is telling people that LeBron wants to go to LA.
According to Stephen A. Smith and his "sources", Chris Paul has started telling people that LeBron James isn't trying to come to Houston because he wants to be in Los Angeles. https://t.co/VCt8JiLidM pic.twitter.com/OUOU0hebS9
— ClutchFans (@clutchfans) June 18, 2018
Paul is close friends with James and part of the “Banana Boat” group, so he probably would have intimate knowledge of LeBron’s plans. He also reportedly began recruiting LeBron to Houston after the season ended, so it’s quite possible he was told this firsthand by his buddy. This report seems to coincide with a previous one that said LeBron wasn’t a big fan of the city of Houston.
The Lakers are the betting favorite to land James this summer. LeBron does have a player option for over $35 million, but he’s expected to decline that in order to become a free agent. The Lakers seem like his destination, and there was even a report that his son is committed to a high school in LA.
H/T Yahoo Sports
One New York Knicks player is feeling quite optimistic about his team’s chances of landing LeBron James in free agency.
Center Enes Kanter is ready to recruit James to the Knicks, and he thinks the team has a real chance due to the stage they can provide.
“I’m trying,” Kanter said, via Mike Vorkunov of the Athletic. “I don’t want to say it’s possible, whatever, but I’m trying. Let’s give him a shot. Why not? Might just get him. Never know.
“I’m working, man. I need some help. I’m working on it. I think just because it’s New York. If he wins here he is the G.O.A.T. No question, he is the G.O.A.T. I think we have a good chance to get him, I guess.”
Kanter and James have some history, and the Turkish center openly challenged James to become “king of New York” by joining the team. Is it unlikely? Almost certainly, but Kanter is right. It can’t hurt to try.
It’s widely believed that LeBron James will hit free agency this summer and look for a situation where he can contend for an NBA title immediately. In the mind of Shaquille O’Neal, this would be a mistake.
Shaq said Friday that his own late career efforts to pick up as many rings as possible were misguided, and James should not do the same thing.
“My problem toward the end of my career was I was trying to shut everybody up and I was greedy,” Shaq said, via ESPN’s Ian Begley. “After I got to three [titles], everybody was saying I couldn’t get another. So I got four. After I got the fourth, they were saying I couldn’t get another one. So I was trying to make quick stops to get it. Phoenix, Cleveland, Boston.”
Shaq believes that James’s legacy is already secure, and going after more titles won’t add much to it.
“Somebody told me a long time ago — they said your book is already set. You can add index pages toward the end, but your book is already set. So LeBron’s book is already set,” Shaq said. “He done already passed up legends; he done already made his mark — he has three rings. His mentality now is probably: I want to get four before Steph [Curry] does. That’s probably his mentality now. But if I was him, I wouldn’t be trying to get four, five and six because it ain’t going to matter. It’s just something else to talk about, something else to add to the pages. He’s a legend, talked about as who is the best between he and Michael Jordan, so he’s set.”
It’s an interesting take from someone who certainly knows a thing or two about rings, legacies, and on-court rivalries. It doesn’t sound like James is going to be taking Shaq’s advice, as everything we’ve heard about potential destinations would indicate that James will be looking for situations where he’ll have the best shot at winning more titles.
LeBron James appears to be doing his due diligence when it comes to potential free agent destinations.
There was chatter on Twitter Friday that LeBron was in Houston looking at some private schools. Writer Ross Bolen, who is from Houston, said he was told that James was looking at schools in Houston.
Multiple sources feeding me chatter about LeBron touring private high schools in Houston today. Kinkaid and St. John’s have both been mentioned.
— Ross Bolen (@WRBolen) June 15, 2018
That led to some other chatter on Twitter about LeBron being in Houston.
Just got a call from one of my fellow imbibing ravens about Lebron being in Houston this morning. Said raven talked to a few people in the real estate industry. The Kinkaid School was mentioned.
— Paul Gallant (@GallantSays) June 15, 2018
James has the ability to opt out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and become a free agent. The Rockets are among the teams that make sense as a potential destination. Given that he has three children, it’s important for the family to know what schools are in the given areas.
There was a previous report about LeBron’s oldest son being committed to a high school in Los Angeles. The Lakers, Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers are said to be among the teams he is considering as a free agent, although one report recently dinged Houston.