As the Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers battle it out for the No. 3 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference, there’s an intriguing backdrop to this late-season playoff race.
By now it’s well known that Cavs star LeBron James, an impending free agent, has been linked to the upstart Sixers. The idea here would be for Philadelphia to add the planet’s best player to team up with youngsters Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz. Over the short term, a marriage of that ilk would make Philadelphia odds-on conferene title contenders.
According to Portland Blazers star C.J. McCollum, James to the Sixers is a much stronger possibility than people want to let on.
“I think it’s a bigger possibility than people think. I’m not sure if they have the space financially for that. Obviously, they have a lot of guys on rookie deals right now,” McCollum said, via his Pull Up podcast.
McCollum also went on to note that Philadelphia could likely afford James because the vast majority of its young core remain on rookie contracts. As of right now, the Sixers are projected to have north of $31 million in cap space. With some tinkering, they could very well make a James union work.
Rarely do players on other teams chime in on what might happen with fellow stars. But in the case of James, the decision he makes will change the entire foundation of the NBA. For his part, the MVP candidate has been unwilling to talk about a future beyond this season. That’s fine. But it’s rather clear he’s thinking about what this summer might bring.