76ers Free Agent Targets: LeBron James

BOSTON, MA – MAY 27: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts in the second half against the Boston Celtics during Game Seven of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 27, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

by: Jon Balant

LeBron James

Position: Any

Age: 33

Height/Weight: 6’8”, 250 lbs

College: None

Draft: 2003, 1st overall by Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Team: Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Contract: 3 year/$99.857,127 including 3rd year player option for 2018-2019 season

Current Status: Player option, making him an unrestricted free agent

Agent: Rich Paul, Klutch Sports Group

Projected cost: $40 million per year

Career Highlights:

I’m not getting into this. Everyone with a pulse knows what Lebron James has accomplished

Pros:

  • Ability to play any position on the court
  • Has developed a tremendous jump shot with range and elevation, can pull up from anywhere within 30 feet and finish
  • His ability to shoot allows him to play off the ball, which is critical on a team with Ben Simmons playing point guard
  • Elite, polished, natural scorer with ability to shoot from the outside and penetrate/finish at the rim.
  • Uses his body and strength exceptionally well to create space and contact while trying to score.
  • Excellent passing skills and vision
  • Provides the complete wing scoring threat in both transition and half court that the 76ers desperately need.
  • Tremendous basketball IQ and acumen

Cons:

  • Requires the ball to be in his hands, which could make him not an ideal fit with Ben Simmons
  • Aging veteran at 33 years old with no major injury history, which could mean he’s “due”
  • Brings a lot of baggage off the court
  • Track record of demanding bad players to be brought in and paid, as well as getting coaches fired

 

Conclusion:

I’m aggressively pursuing Lebron James for one reason – we do not know how long Joel Embiid is going to stay healthy. His shelf life could be limited and the 76ers need to go for the kill now.  Lebron has never played with a big man of Embiid’s caliber and that should be enticing for him. We weren’t even close to competing last year despite our 52 win season, and it is paramount that the Sixers acquire an elite basketball player either in free agency or the draft.  Acquiring Lebron James solves a lot of problems and will allow the Sixers to compete immediately while still building for the future when Lebron eventually calls it quits.  Vegas has made the 76ers a favorite to land Lebron, and I agree with this assessment.  The Houston Rockets have major cap issues and will find it difficult to move Ryan Anderson’s and Eric Gordon’s contracts because they each have 2 years remaining on their deals.  I think the debacle during game 1 with JR Smith further pushes Lebron in a different direction.  This is an ideal fit for a team and city desperate and hungry for a championship.  The 76ers should do everything within their power to acquire the greatest overall basketball player in NBA history.