LeBron James opts out of $24 million player option
Three-time NBA Champion LeBron James has decided to opt out of his $24 million player option for the upcoming season, making him a free agent. James, however, has made it clear that he wants to remain in Cleveland. This is the third straight year James has opted out of his contract, and with a league-wide salary cap increase looming, he will sign on to make even more next season with the Cavaliers. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that James may sign long term this time around for upwards of $200 million, which would make him the highest paid NBA player to date.
Kevin Durant will meet with the Thunder first
Unrestricted free agent Kevin Durant has decided to meet with his current team prior to leaving for the Hamptons on July 1st to hear pitches from the rest of the NBA. Durant has meetings on the horizon with Golden State, San Antonio, Miami, Boston and the Los Angeles Clippers, but Oklahoma City will have the first crack at convincing Durant where to play next season. The Thunder recently traded Serge Ibaka to the Magic for first round draft pick Domantas Sabonis, Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova. The team also acquired second round draft pick Daniel Hamilton from the Denver Nuggets for cash considerations.
Harrison Barnes to Philly?
There have been rumors that Golden State forward Harrison Barnes may be interested in joining the Philadelphia 76ers. Barnes is a restricted free agent this summer, and after a dismal NBA Finals with the Warriors, he may want to hit the reset button. The Sixers were the league’s worst team last season, but they are capable of building around their promising young talent of Ben Simmons, Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel. If the Warriors fail to land Kevin Durant, then they will most likely attempt to match whatever Philadelphia offers Barnes and re-sign him. But if they do somehow secure Durant, the Dubs will not be able to afford Barnes the estimated $90 million max contract the Sixers could offer him.