It didn’t take long once free agency began for LeBron James to announce that he would become a Laker — his agency issued a press release confirming his decision on the evening of July 1, less than 24 hours after the new league year officially got underway. Still, the Sixers felt as if James gave them serious consideration before he opted to head to L.A., as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com writes.
“I think they considered us very strongly,” Sixers principal owner Josh Harris said of James and his camp. “I think he – I would be speculating on how he makes his decisions, and I don’t want to do that – but I think that they were really serious [about Philadelphia]. The fact that they took the meeting with us was something that they didn’t view lightly, so I think that they were very serious about it.”
Sixers head coach Brett Brown, who said before free agency began that the team would be “star hunting,” isn’t walking back those comments and sounds committed to taking the same approach going forward, writes Derek Bodner of The Athletic. Even if the 76ers can’t pull off a trade for Kawhi Leonard or another star, they should have plenty of cap flexibility in 2019, when many more All-Stars will reach the open market.
Here are a few more free agent notes and rumors:
- About six teams, including the Rockets, continue to express interest in free agent swingman Nick Young, tweets Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston. A report earlier this week specifically identified Houston, Minnesota, Utah, Cleveland, Memphis, and Sacramento as teams with interest in Young, though it’s not clear if those are the same six that remain in the mix.
- While Marcus Smart‘s free agent outlook remains up in the air, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge calls the RFA guard Boston’s “highest priority” (Twitter link via Brian Robb of Boston Sports Journal).
- Asked today about the Celtics‘ plans for two-way restricted free agent Jabari Bird, Ainge replied, “We don’t know yet” (Twitter link via Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald). Bird has been Boston’s best player in Summer League action so far, averaging 18.0 PPG on 57.9% shooting, but it remains to be seen if the C’s will find room for him on their 15-man roster.
- After pouring in 19 points in his NBA debut as a 32-year-old in April, Andre Ingram isn’t satisfied with his brief NBA cameo. As Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated relays, even after being renounced by the Lakers, Ingram is seeking another NBA opportunity, and has received some interest – but no offers – from the league’s 30 clubs.
- Zach Lowe breaks down the winners and losers of free agency in an entertaining piece for ESPN.com.