By Steve Kelly
Thirty-three-year-old LeBron James is rumored to be considering walking away from the Cavs, his hometown team, for the second time in his career during free agency this summer – and there is no shortage of suitors for his signature.
Among those interested in acquiring the three-time NBA champion are rumoured to be the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat – but in recent weeks another serious contender has emerged, the Sixers.
The Sixers exploded in the Eastern Conference this season as one of the surprise packages in the league. Led by an impressive young core centered around point guard Ben Simmons and dominant center Joel Embiid, the Sixers finished third in the East – above James’ Cavs – and sailed past the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs, 4-1.
Writing in his popular New York Times newsletter, NBA insider Mark Stein suggested noise about LeBron remaining in the East has steadily increased during the postseason.
“I now fully understand why whispers about the Philadelphia 76ers and their growing behind-the-scenes confidence that they can woo LeBron to Philly this summer are getting louder,” he said.
The news made waves on social media site Reddit as fans considered what the move could mean for the Sixers’ rivals in the league.
“If the Sixers did sign LeBron this summer, you’d have to think they’re a 60 win team at worst,” read one comment.“Not only would he join their starting lineup, it’d put Covington in a bench role and he’s much better than most bench players.”Another said: “I want him to go to the Sixers so I can see how he’s gonna play with Simmons.
“I’m sure they’d make it work but it ain’t a match made it heaven that’s for sure.”
“Every team in the NBA can claim they’re confident about signing him but at the end of the day LeBron will be the one making that decision,” added a third.
“Philly has the best case though unless the Cavs get another star player, somehow.”