6 ideal LeBron James free agency landing spots for 2024 offseason

LeBron James
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After six seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James now has a decision to make by June 29. Yet, if you ask his agent, Rich Paul, LeBron has already decided to opt out of his $51.4 million player option for the 2024-25 season, which makes the future Hall of Famer a free agent.

So, if James really is headed for free agency, which teams could sign the 20-time All-Star? Here are six potential fits for LeBron.

New York Knicks

After getting aggressive ahead of last season’s NBA trade deadline, the New York Knicks looked like one of the best teams in basketball during their playoff stretch despite dealing with an endless run of injuries. With the Knicks expected to seek another star this offseason, they could turn to the biggest name of all — LeBron James. If OG Anunoby lands a maximum contract elsewhere, the Knicks could turn to the versatile skillset James provides, but he’d have to accept a reduced salary, and that might not be up for discussion.

Related: Philadelphia 76ers could make OG Anunoby a massive offer to force Knicks’ hand

Oklahoma City Thunder

Already boasting one of the strongest cores in the NBA, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the cap room and trade capital to pursue nearly anyone they want this offseason. But signing James to a short-term contract could make a lot of sense for a young team that needs a veteran who can command respect. Paying James now leaves room to pay the Thunder’s stars later, and he might be the missing piece in this starting five.

Related: Bronny James unwilling to sign specific NBA contract

Dallas Mavericks

To be clear, the Mavericks cannot afford to sign James to a contract anywhere near what he’s expected to command on the open market. They’d likely have to trade several players, such as Tim Hardaway, P.J. Washington, and Maxi Kleber, while still somehow convincing LeBron to sign for less. Yet, the Mavericks do have his buddy in Kyrie Irving and could also add Bronny James to give LeBron a tough decision to make.

Related: Dak Prescott dares Dallas Mavericks to ‘put more pressure’ on Cowboys

Cleveland Cavaliers

Could King James return to Cleveland again? The Cavaliers do have a contender, plus a need for a reliable wing who can defend multiple positions. We know James loves the area; he even took in Game 4 of the Celtics-Cavaliers second-round playoff series. Yet, the most the Cavs can offer James as a free agent is the $12.9 million mid-level exception. As much as he loves Cleveland, James probably isn’t giving that much of a hometown discount.

Related: Cleveland Cavaliers expecting good news from Donovan Mitchell contract negotiations

Philadelphia 76ers

One team that has plenty of money to spend is the Philadelphia 76ers, who have just four players under contract next season. With Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid, the 76ers are bound to be top contenders in the East, but they also won’t hesitate to add a third star this summer. The goal is to win now; James brings 18 years of playoff experience (287 games) to help Embiid finally get across the finish line for his first NBA Championship.

Related: Philadelphia 76ers looking at signing superstar future Hall of Fame player in NBA free agency

Los Angeles Lakers are best for LeBron James

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimately, the Los Angeles Lakers are the best fit for James for the remainder of his NBA career. He’s settled down in California with his family, and while he doesn’t lack the cash flow to pick up and move anywhere in the world, it’s hard to envision him moving his home base for just two or three years, or however many seasons he has left in the tank. The Lakers have a chance to retool the roster this summer, which could have LeBron feeling confident about their chances to add to his four NBA Championships.

Related: NBA insider reveals shocking frontrunner to fill Los Angeles Lakers head coaching vacancy

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