While the LeBron James sweepstakes increasingly look like a two-team race between the Lakers and Cavaliers, a wild-card club is trying to force its way into the mix. According to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports, the Nuggets have been in contact with James’ agent Rich Paul and will aggressively pursue a meeting.
The idea of James choosing to join the Nuggets is a long shot, which the team itself recognizes, per Mannix (Twitter link). However, Denver’s “ultra-aggressive” front office wants an opportunity to sell the four-time MVP on the idea of playing with Nikola Jokic, Will Barton, and Jamal Murray, even if it’s just for one year.
Of course, the Nuggets’ lucrative new agreements with Jokic and Barton present another roadblock to the team’s pursuit of James — Denver currently projects to have a team salary well over the tax apron for 2018/19, which would make the club ineligible to acquire a player via a sign-and-trade. So even in the unlikely event that LeBron wants to play in Denver, the Nuggets would have to jump through several cap-related hoops to make it happen.
While James almost certainly won’t play for the Nuggets, the team continues to display a willingness to go after star free agents. Two summers ago, Denver made an aggressive play for Dwyane Wade before he ultimately chose to sign with his hometown Bulls.