Central Rumors: LeBron, Bucks, Stephenson, Pistons

LeBron James‘ player-option decision is due this Friday, and he’s “widely expected” to turn down that option, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. According to Vardon, James is close to making a decision and the Cavaliers are “generally aware of his thinking.”

If James does opt out, it would significantly hamstring the ability of several over-the-cap suitors to make a serious run at him. If LeBron reaches free agency, teams with cap room like the Lakers and Sixers would be his most viable landing spots, along with the Cavaliers.

For what it’s worth, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com has heard within the last week from two members of the 2017/18 Cavaliers – a player and a team official – that they believe the Cavs have the best chance of any team to sign James. Within his article, McMenamin explains why a return to Cleveland could make some sense for the future Hall-of-Famer.

Here’s more from around the Central division:

  • Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times hears from NBA sources and officials that Eric Bledsoe, Matthew Dellavedova, and D.J. Wilson are among the players the Bucks have been willing to discuss in trades this summer.
  • After declining Lance Stephenson‘s team option, the Pacers could still bring him back later in free agency. However, league sources tell Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link) not to rule out the Bulls as a potential suitor for Stephenson.
  • The Pistons lack the cap space to be a major player in free agency, but the team could be in the mix for certain affordable targets. As Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes, Dwane Casey‘s presence and the Pistons’ roster stability could be selling points as the club recruits free agents.
  • Frank Urbina of HoopsHype.com identifies a few potential landing spots for Cavaliers guard Rodney Hood, suggesting the Heat, Pacers, and Bulls could be decent fits for the restricted free agent.
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20 thoughts on “Central Rumors: LeBron, Bucks, Stephenson, Pistons

  1. imindless

    What else are the cavs gonna say lol, no or franchise player is leaving lol. Sorry to inform you cavs fans sexton isnt the answer. Way to many holes and long term bad contracts on that roster. Its done, even if he opts in cavs arent winning squat and may not even making it out of the east.

    • LA is getting more nervous by the day. Realizes LA is the worst place to go. Crap team and no vision other than to get the GOAT.

    • knickscavsfan

      Is it easy for you to say things that are untrue? I mean Clarkson has the longest contract with 3 years. Thompson has two remaining. Love has 1 and a PO. Hill, Smith and Korver have 2 year deals but very little guaranteed in the 2nd year effectively making them 1 year expiring contracts. What “long term” contracts are you referring too? If Most of can be traded twice with his 3/$45 mil then I’m confident Kobe Altman can figure as bbq out.

  2. sameichel

    The bad contracts are up after next year (smith has two year but that Cavs can buy him out after next season)

    • ohiodevil

      I think only $1-$2 mil of JRs contract is guaranteed after next season, so they could move him as a salary match and the new team could let him go for nothing

  3. Brian Windhorst said he expects LeBron to make an announcement sometime around July 3.

  4. dust44

    I’m in the minority. I’m a Bucks fan. But, LeBron is staying with the Cavs. They will maneuver some of these bad contracts to get useful players. All these expiring contracts r useful to cap strapped teams. Hornets will b dreadful again next year. Y not take on a couple of expiring contracts to unload Batum with Walker. Or Orlando takes a expiring contract for Fournier and a pick. Expiring contracts r just as important in the cap strapped league as some of the 2nd round picks that change hands.

    • Agree with you and I don’t think you’re in the minority. Maybe for those that post, but most people with a brain sees LA is a horrible for James to go, Philly makes some sense if your James cause but not a lot of sense for Philly.

    • x%sure

      Lue would be a better coach if JRSmith was waived& stretched. Kill 2 birds with one stone

  5. Agree with big expiring contracts are very valuable in the league right now.
    Agree LBJ to Philly doesn’t make any sense for the team, though it does for him.
    Same for Lakers good for him no sense for the team.

  6. tealmarlin

    Good potential fit in the Heat??? Really??? A team full of SGs cuz he aint no SF.

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