LeBron James has informed the Cleveland Cavaliers he will not exercise his $35.6 million option and will become a free agent. So, the Heat would be in a really tough spot to add much to its roster after acquiring James in this scenario - while also giving up valuable assets to get him. Even that was a remote possibility.
But while everyone waits for James to make a move, the three-time champ will continue to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
But, according to a new report from HoopsHype duo Alex Kennedy and Bryan Kalbrosky, James can count on finding help from fellow stars around the league fairly easily.
Last summer's shocking trade of All-Star Kyrie Irving, the team's failed attempt to integrate guard Isaiah Thomas, a lack of playmakers, assorted injuries and coach Tyronn Lue's medical issues contributed to James appearing ready to pull up stakes again and pursue championships elsewhere. As a veteran, James has preferred signing short-term contracts, two-to-three year ones with player options tacked onto the ends.
The 76ers stand as a third and seemingly distant runner-up for James.
Thus, remaining in Cleveland or going to Los Angeles - where he owns a home - remain the two most likely options for James to pursue.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers are expected to make the most aggressive moves to land the three-time National Basketball Association champion. "I don't think there's a piece we need to bring in or take away".
According to ESPN front-office insider Bobby Marks, Cleveland can offer James a more lucrative deal than any other team - a five-year max contract in the neighborhood of $207 million. They are looking to trade or waive Bayless this summer.
Yet if the Lakers manage to secure another free agent star such as Kawhi Leonard or Paul George, both California-born players, then that would all change if James made a decision to come to the Staples Center. The star forward is another Southern California native who has said he wants out of San Antonio for the final year of his contract and that the Lakers are at the top of his list of destinations.
Philadelphia and Houston are also believed to covet the four-time league MVP, who just played in his eighth straight Finals.
The bottomline: James' options are basically down to teams with cap space.