LeBron James returns to LA hours before free agency opens

Rival GM Le Bron James would'let the roster come together for Lakers

Between the LeBron James guessing games and the Kawhi Leonard trade talk, it seems National Basketball Association shopping season is well underway.

Stay tuned to see how the story unfolds.

If James walks in free agency - his agent told the Cavs Friday he would not exercise a $35.6 million option on his contract for next season - Cleveland's cap number drops and the team could potentially follow with significant roster moves.

According to ESPN front-office insider Bobby Marks, Cleveland can offer James a more lucrative deal than any other team - a five-year max contract in the neighborhood of $205 million.

L.A. presents an interesting case since it has the means to sign LeBron and pair him with another star such as free-agent small forward Paul George.

James can begin negotiating with teams Sunday, and free agents can officially begin signing contracts on July 6.

The fact that he didn't pick up his option could be good news for anxious Cavs fans, who fear James may leave them for the second time in his career.

More news: Priyanka Chopra-Nick Jonas attend Akash Ambani-Shloka Mehta's Party

The 33-year-old opted out of the final year of his Cavs deal on Friday but could yet resign with his hometown club despite strong interest from the Lakers.

George announced his decision at a party in Oklahoma City shortly after Wojnarowski's report.

But it appears the same can not be said for southern California.

The Houston Rockets are also in the mix. Also, LeBron is looking for a team where he can control every aspect, from player personnel, minutes, and play calling. He averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assist in 82 games last season. He showed no signs of slowing down, if anything he had found a new gear.

And while he isn't reportedly scheduled to meet with the Cavaliers face-to-face now, there's always a chance it could still happen, although it was reported earlier by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that James isn't interested in flashy pitches from teams this time around.

There's little doubt James has some quality years ahead of him. James opted out of his player option, effectively making him an unrestricted free agent.

As if losing to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the third time in four years wasn't already tough enough, the frustration hit an all-time high this past season since the Cavaliers were swept by the back-to-back champions. He had done everything possible, and as he left Quicken Loans Arena following Game 4 along with his sons, there was an air of uncertainty heading into this summer.

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