The Philadelphia 76ers have been in the middle of a long-term process that may finally be bearing fruit in a pretty big way. The franchise may be trying to capitalize on their recent successes to pursue the biggest star in the NBA once he reaches free agency this coming summer.
According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, some NBA executives believe that 76ers president of basketball operations, Bryan Colangelo, will make a strong effort to sign LeBron James. James has the option to opt out of his current contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the end of this current season.
Simply having an interest in signing James is several steps away from signing him and the Philadelphia team will be among a large number of teams making the push to sing the 13-time All-Star.
However, the idea of LeBron James finding his way to Philadelphia isn’t too far-fetched of an idea.
It would be pretty easy for the 76ers to accommodate a maximum contract for LeBron James. According to a recent Sportrac update, Philadelphia is a little over $21.6 million into the red next year. The team has around $52.2 million in salary holds for JJ Redick, Amir Johnson, and Nik Stauskas. By letting the three players sign to other team or get them to agree to lower salaries, the 76ers could easily open up some cap space that would allow a slot for James.
Philadelphia has a young core of stars that is the biggest factor working in their favor. The 76ers haven’t been able to reach the playoffs since 2011-12, but they might be able to get James on the idea of playing alongside Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz.
The 76ers this season are basically the team that LeBron James was hoping for when he made his return debut to the Cavaliers at the end of 2014. The Cavs at that time were building up around Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, and Dion Waiters.