LeBron James has 53 million reasons to stay in Cleveland

Isaiah Thomas

Lakers brass, headed by former National Basketball Association champion Magic Johnson, will now try to convince James to sign a contract that could be worth $152 million over four years in Los Angeles. His reason for being there is unknown: The Lakers are considered a strong candidate to sign James, but he also has an offseason home in L.A. Once James, George, Durant, Paul and Jordan begin signing, teams will begin moving on to other free agents and the process will continue. Though there's still a chance that King James will choose to stay with the Cavs, sources say he is eyeing teams like the Lakers and 76ers.

The most likely destinations are the LA Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, and possibly, back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The most Philadelphia or any team besides the Cavs could give James is a four-year contract worth about $153 million.

Of course, Paul George is among those players headling this year's free agency pool.

As the window nears for LeBron James to let the Cleveland Cavaliers know if he will become a free agent, speculation is at an all-time high.

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In 2014, he returned to the Cavaliers after an in-person meeting with team owner Dan Gilbert. The Cavaliers can offer him a max deal of $205 million over five years ($41 million annually), while another team can max out at $152 million over four years ($38 million).

-Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball has a torn meniscus in his left knee, Yahoo Sports reported, though he is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. Cleveland has deep salary-cap issues - partially caused by James' failure to commit long-term - and the Cavs now lack enough talent to unseat the champion Golden State Warriors.

What this signals more than anything else is that there could be much shifting around with the Lakers in their attempt to present a more feasible team with their pursuit of All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard. Still, after accepting the league's Rookie of the Year award Monday in Los Angeles, Simmons made the case for why a player like James should want to join the up-and-coming Sixers.

Houston: While the Rockets once seemed a good fit, James declining his option all but eliminated the chances of him joining up with close friend Chris Paul and MVP James Harden.

The 33-year-old averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 9.1 assists and 1.4 steals and shot 54.2 percent from the field this past season.

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