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Report: LeBron James Has No Plans to Meet With Cavs When Free Agency Opens

LeBron James and Koby Altman

Even though LeBron James is now set to be recruited by multiple teams during free agency, the Cleveland Cavaliers will apparently not have an in-person meeting with the superstar when the process begins on Sunday. In reality, that should come as no surprise, since the team has already met with James’ representatives and knows that his preference is to stay with the team, if possible.

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin indicated that James’ agent, Rich Paul, will only be conducting negotiations over the phone. That’s due in part to the simple fact that Paul also has other clients that will be in the free agent market.

“When NBA free agency officially opens at 12:01 a.m. ET Sunday, the Cleveland Cavaliers will not meet in person with LeBron James or his representatives, sources told ESPN,” wrote McMenamin.

While rampant speculation went into overdrive once James opted out of the final year of his Cavaliers’ contract, McMenamin points out that it did offer this positive aspect about the team’s chances of re-signing him:

“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.

“As it stands now, the Cavs believe they are still in the mix to retain James and can offer significantly more money — $207 million over five years, compared to $152 million over four years — than the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers, the other two teams seen as the most likely suitors.”

James had already indicated that he wouldn’t be taking part in any elaborate pitch meetings from teams, primarily because of the time-consuming nature of that effort. In addition, the 15-year veteran likely has a very short list of teams that he’s considering.

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