This summer, LeBron James remains the name who may shape much of what happens in NBA free agency. The Cleveland Cavaliers' star forward has until June 29 to exercise his $35.6 million contract option for next season or decline it and become an unrestricted free agent.
If he does end up entering the free-agent market, though, he doesn't want the elaborate presentations or the like that have shaped his (and others') recruiting pitches in the past. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reports James isn't necessarily looking for a fancy display or presentation to sway him to a particular team this summer:
While James hasn't decided yet whether to pick up his player option, sources close to the situation tell ESPN that he has no intention of hearing elaborate pitch meetings from teams.
James might meet or speak with a club official or owner at some point, but the elaborate presentations that have become common in NBA free agency over the years are unnecessary after 15 seasons in the league.
Should James become a free agent, league sources believe he and his agents Rich Paul and Mark Termini have enough understanding of the stakes and NBA landscape to handle the process without much fanfare.
In the summer of 2010, when James was a free agent with the Cavaliers, he went through a much more in-depth courtship. The New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets, LA Clippers and the Cavs all flew delegations to meet with him and sell him on their respective franchises. James ultimately ended up announcing via an ESPN-televised special that he was choosing the Heat in free agency.
When he returned to the Cavaliers in the summer of 2014, he did so via a letter published by Sports Illustrated.
In the past few offseasons, many teams around the NBA have prepared elaborate free-agency pitches for that summer's big names in free agency -- whether it was LaMarcus Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony, Gordon Hayward or other All-Star players on the open market. The results of those have been mixed, with stars not always picking the team that put on the best show.
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