Philadelphia 76ers: 3 reactions to LeBron James declining 2018-19 contract option

LeBron James NBA Sports Creator Community

As such, James now is set to hit free agency, which officially opens July 1.

LeBron James reportedly declined his 2018-19 player option on Friday and will now become an unrestricted free agent. While there had been dialogue between Paul and Altman since the season ended, James had not given the team any sense of his plans. The Cavaliers still advanced to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season, but the Warriors swept James, who turned in a Herculean effort.

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.

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Sources told cleveland.com this week that the Cavs would not trade Love, a five-time All-Star who is owed about $50 million over the next two seasons, if James leaves as a free agent. James can also sign a short-term deal with Cleveland, something he has done each year since returning in 2014.

The Philadelphia 76ers are getting a chance to pitch their process to LeBron James. In other words, the rumors surrounding where James is going to be playing next season are about to skyrocket since he's going to have numerous offers to take into consideration. It's unclear when James might make his decision on where he signs, although it was reported earlier in the week by several outlets that he hoped to have everything wrapped up by Wednesday and will announce his decision on his Uninterrupted website at some point. The Los Angeles Lakers are also trying to acquire Leonard - plus free agent Paul George - to form a core of superstars in a major media market.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) tries to pass the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the third quarter in game four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena.

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James flew into Van Nuys Airport Saturday morning on a private jet from Anguilla, according ESPN reporter Arash Markazi.

The Cavs, on the other hand, have been mostly operating in the dark. Of course, the possibility exists James is still unsure of what he will do.

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