LeBron James could be headed to the Houston Rockets if he opts out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and enters free agency next year, insiders have claimed.
NBA executives and some ‘in Rocket circles’ believe Houston has a chance of signing James, USA Today’s Sam Amick said on Sunday.
If he makes the move, 32-year-old James would join Rockets stars including Chris Paul and James Harden under head coach Mike D’Antoni.
The Rockets won 55 games last year in D’Antoni’s first season in Houston, they are currently second in offensive rating, and currently have the Western Conference’s best record, at 21-4.
NBA executives and some ‘in Rocket circles’ believe that Houston has a chance at signing Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James if he opts out of his contract and enters free agency
If he makes the move, 32-year-old James would join Rockets stars including Chris Paul and James Harden (left) under head coach Mike D’Antoni
Moving to Houston could also give James another chance at beating the Golden State Warriors – the team the Cavaliers faced in the last three NBA Championships.
The Cavs lost to Golden State in the 2015 finals but took revenge by winning the 2016 crown, James fulfilling his vow to bring a title to Cleveland, only to watch Golden State add Kevin Durant and roll to the title last season with a 16-1 playoff mark.
Houston is on track to have the second-highest payroll in the NBA next season, according to Spotrac, but the team would have to cut their payroll to fit a max contract for James.
James, meanwhile, has made it clear that he won’t make any decisions about his contract until the season is over next year.
He was previously linked with a move to Los Angeles with the Lakers and Clippers said to be keeping tabs on him over the summer.
The four-time MVP is in his 15th season of the NBA, and he shows no sign of slowing down.
James, of Akron, Ohio, first joined the Cavaliers in 2003 as an 18-year-old and the first overall pick in the year’s NBA draft.
The Rockets, guard Chris Paul pictured above right, are currently second in offensive rating and currently have the Western Conference best record, at 21-4
Houston, guard James Harden pictured above, is on track to have the second-highest payroll in the NBA next season but the team would have to cut their payroll to fit a max contract for James
James, meanwhile, has made it clear that he won’t make any decisions about his contract until the season is over next year
He earned his first All Star Game selection in the 2004-2005 season, and was a beloved member of his hometown team in Cleveland.
When James became a free agent in 2010, he announced he was moving to the Miami Heat, which drew intense criticism from many in basketball circles.
He sparked riots in Cleveland with the move, and many fans filmed themselves burning their James jerseys.
During his four years with the Heat, the team won back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013 and again made the finals in 2014.
He opted out of his contract with the Heat in 2014 to again become a free agent and announced he was returning ‘home’ to the Cavaliers.
He agreed to a three-year, $100 million contract with the Cavs in August 2016.
‘I’m re-signing back with the Cleveland Cavaliers, man, my hometown team, and I couldn’t be more excited with this opportunity once again, man, to defend our crown, defend our title,’ James said as the time.
He was one of the highest played players in the NBA in 2016 with a salary of $31million.
His salary is expected to to top $33million in the 2017-2018 season if he stays with the Cavs.