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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:23 pm 
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The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the most intriguing potential destinations for LeBron James, should he choose to leave theCleveland Cavaliers and become a free agent this offseason. Joining an emerging team with a young core of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons could usher in a new era of Sixer basketball after years of self-imposed futility

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:24 pm 
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But outspoken TNT analyst Charles Barkley, who played in Philadelphia for the first eight seasons of his Hall of Fame NBA career, is adamant that James won't be suiting up for the Sixers next season.

"He's not coming to the Sixers," Barkley said Tuesday on The Mike Missanelli Show. "He's not coming to the Sixers because he needs the ball, Simmons needs the ball and Embiid needs the ball. That would make Simmons useless.

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:24 pm 
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"He's not going to give the ball up at this stage of his career. He's not a great shooter, so you can't play him off the ball. I guarantee you [defenders] would let him shoot 3s all night. Guys would love him to shoot 3s. … It would hurt Embiid and Simmons going forward."

Barkley is never one to mince words, and he certainly didn't here. He makes some good points about the lack of shooting on a lineup featuring LeBron, Simmons and Embiid, but there's also a line of thinking that suggests a group of players that talented will figure out how to play together.

For what it's worth, oddsmakers disagree with Chuck, as the Sixers have the second-best odds to land James this summer at 11-5.

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:41 pm 
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Stephen Jackson torches LeBron James over hand, Finals: 'He quit, he knew he was beat'

Jason Owens

Yahoo Sports
While much of the sports world has moved past the NBA Finals to the summer of LeBron James, Stephen Jackson isn’t quite ready to let go.

The former Golden State Warrior and NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs lit into James Wednesday during an appearance on Fox Sports, taking him to task for quitting during the Finals and making excuses after theCleveland Cavaliers got swept.

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:42 pm 
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Stephen Jackson: LeBron James was ‘selfish’ when he hurt his hand

Jackson started his diatribe by calling out James for talking about his injured hand after the Cavs got swept and for injuring it in the first place by punching a white board after a brutal Game 1 loss.

“The series is over,” Jackson said. “There’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t go back and start over ’cause your hand hurts. It wasn’t a good decision by the guy you expect to carry your team.

“For him to do that, that was real selfish.”

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:42 pm 
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Jackson: Did James punch his heart against white board?

Jackson went on to criticize James for what he saw a subpar effort in the wake of Game 1’s loss.

“I think his heart was questioned,” Jackson said. “I don’t know if he punched his heart against the white board. Because at times it looked like his heart was hurting. He wasn’t competing, wasn’t giving the same energy we see from LeBron.”

He went on to accuse James of making excuses after getting swept.

“I just think it was too late to come out with,” Jackson said. “The series was over. If you hurt your hand, just say you hurt it. Don’t bring it up to try to make it the topic from g

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:42 pm 
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‘Go home, bruh!’

Toward the end of his rant, Jackson came to the conclusion that James just up and quit on his teammates.

“That took a lot out of him,” Jackson said of Game 1. “He quit. He knew he was playing against a better team. After Game 1, he knew he was beat. Point blank, bruh. It had nothing to do with his hand.

“They got swept. 4-0. Take it like a man. Go home, bruh.”

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:42 am 
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Lebron James transfer is the hottest NBA News today.

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:43 am 
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How the Lakers can land LeBron, Kawhi and Paul George

Kevin Pelton
ESPN Staff Writer

Could the L.A. Lakers build a new big three of LeBron James, Paul George andKawhi Leonard this summer?

That's the kind of star-studded scenario Lakers fans have dreamed about since last making the playoffs five years ago, and that the rest of the NBA has feared. While it's a long shot, such a partnership is possible if the players involved really want it.

Let's run through the possibilities -- and the challenges.

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:43 am 
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How the Lakers could make it work financially

The Lakers signing George and James, both of whom can become unrestricted free agents if they decline 2018-19 player options, is easy enough. They can create sufficient cap room merely by waiving forward Luol Deng and stretching his contract, then renouncing the rights to their free agents.

Adding Leonard to the mix makes the math trickier -- even before we account for the fact that he's still under contract with the San Antonio Spurs, who would have to sign off on a trade. (More on that in a bit.)

Though Leonard is making substantially less than the current max salary at $20.1 million for 2018-19, combining his salary with max ones for LeBron (an estimated $35.4 million) and George (estimated $30.3 million because he's two years shy of the experience necessary for the largest max bracket for players with 10-plus years in the league) puts the Lakers over $85 million in salary without considering any other players or the remaining amount of Deng's stretched salary.

That tight math makes it all but imperative the Lakers send Deng to San Antonio in a Leonard trade before signing George and James. How might that work?

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:44 am 
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Kawhi must ask for a trade to L.A.

Timing is the biggest challenge to the Lakers pulling off a big three this summer. Any trade they make for a high-paid veteran like Leonard assuredly needs to be done before they sign free agents, because otherwise they'll already have waived Deng and be unable to include him as matching salary in a trade.

EDITOR'S PICKSBillboard top 30: Every NBA team's pitch to LeBron James

Fans around the NBA have put up billboards to woo LeBron James. What would it look like if all 30 teams did the same? See for yourself.

Seven best Kawhi Leonard trades we'd like to see

Trade discussions could heat up if the Spurs and Leonard can't agree on a new contract. Our NBA Insiders give seven deals that work.

As ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday, the Spurs and Leonard plan to meet sooner rather than later to discuss his future in San Antonio and a possible super-maximum designated veteran extension worth an estimated $219 million. If that offer doesn't come, or if Leonard wants out anyway, he'd have to inform the Spurs quickly that they should trade him -- and, in this scenario, that he'd be willing to re-sign only with the Lakers, limiting his value to other teams.

Presumably, a Lakers package would be built around one of the last two No. 2 overall picks -- either Lonzo Ball orBrandon Ingram. Just how realistic a Leonard trade is depends in large part on how San Antonio values those two developing prospects. From a financial perspective, including Ball gives the Lakers slightly more flexibility because he'll count $7.5 million against the cap next season compared to Ingram's $5.8 million.

Sending back Ball or Ingram alone probably wouldn't get a deal done with the Spurs. Since Deng must be included in this version of a deal, the Lakers are going to need to add more value. That could mean parting with All-Rookie first-team pick Kyle Kuzma, whose ability to create shots is less valuable on a team with three superstars.

Let's say the Spurs are willing to do Ball, Deng and Kuzma for Leonard, pivoting to a younger roster built around the two second-year players plus point guardDejounte Murray. As I outlined in our roundup of Leonard trade possibilities, the two teams could make that trade now by including the Orlando Magic (or another team with cap space or a trade exception of sufficient size) to take onJoffrey Lauvergne's salary for matching purposes.

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:44 am 
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Who would the Lakers have around the big three?

Assuming the cap comes in as projected at $101 million and both James and George sign for the full max, making the trade outlined here for Leonard would leave the Lakers with just six players under contract: their new big three, Ingram, 3-and-D wing Josh Hart and this year's first-round pick via the Cleveland Cavaliers (No. 25 overall). The Lakers also have the 47th overall pick in the second round.

So, needless to say, the Lakers would have a lot of work to do filling out their roster and only the room midlevel exception (projected at $4.4 million) to offer free agents more than the veterans' minimum. The good news is their superstars would give them incredible flexibility.

I'd envision the Lakers starting Ingram at point guard -- a role he filled at times last season when Ball was injured -- and having him share playmaking responsibilities with the newcomers. That would produce a lineup with the 6-foot-7 Leonard as its shortest player, offering tremendous defensive flexibility and the ability to switch nearly any screen. While all four players would perhaps be considered small forwards in a vacuum, all have the ability to defend any position 1-4.

The Lakers would want a center capable of fitting in with a switching defense, which might lead them to pursue Nerlens Noel with the room midlevel. Noel, a client of the agency run by LeBron associate Rich Paul (Klutch Sports Group), might not get much larger offers than $4.4 million this summer, and the Lakers have shown interest in the past. Wojnarowski reported last winter that they had initial discussions with theDallas Mavericks on swapping Julius Randle -- whose rights the Lakers would have to forfeit to clear cap space -- for Noel.

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:45 am 
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To fill out the bench, the Lakers would be relying on veterans taking discounts to play in L.A. and have a chance to contend. This is the summer to do that, however, with limited cap space available around the league. The Lakers would also benefit from the ability to keep at least one All-Star on the court at all times, similar to what the Warriors have done after adding Kevin Durant.

This hypothetical becoming reality is contingent on the players involved -- and the Spurs. George and James are free to sign anywhere, and Leonard may prefer to wait out the possibility of the super-max in San Antonio than to try to return to Southern California. And even if Leonard asks out and tries to force his way to L.A., the Spurs could always call his bluff and keep him or trade him to another team willing to gamble on re-signing Leonard, as the Oklahoma City Thunder did trading for George a year ago.

Still, there is a realistic path to the Lakers creating a big three this summer.

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:46 pm 
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LeBron-to-Lakers momentum appears to be building

By Mark W. Sanchez

June 14, 2018 | 10:43am

Is the plot unraveling for the Hollywood story?

The summer of LeBron James, in which no morsel is too minute to investigate, every possible breadcrumb of news an opportunity to follow down the rabbit hole, is fully under way.

Jeanie Buss, the owner of the Lakers, is well aware.

Jerry Buss’ daughter offered a tweet tailor-made for 2018 on Wednesday night, with overflowing implications and precious little overt as the world waits for LeBron.

“Do not ever underestimate,” Buss wrote, before hitting “enter” several times to build the hype. “Nothing else to say.”

If she has nothing more to offer, plenty of others do. She sent the message after many odds were set on the James sweepstakes, in which Los Angeles is now the front-runner. Bovada set the Lakers as the favorite, giving them 7/4 odds (other notables: 76ers 11/5, Rockets 5/2, Cavaliers 5/1, Spurs 8/1). @BettingDime put the Lakers at 3/2 and Philadelphia 2/1. The Action Network too has LeBron as Kobe Bryant’s heir, as a -130 favorite, with Philly at +325.

The 76ers and Rockets have current rosters that are better built to win now, but the Lakers’ cap space and Paul George could change that view.

Just a few days ago, Gary Payton was putting the thought out there that James already had enrolled his son in a Los Angeles-area school for next year (which was promptly swatted away). No one knows but James — and perhaps not even him — but it’s becoming more apparent that the Lakers are a legitimate player in this lottery.

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 Post subject: Re: LEBRON JAMES THREAD
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:42 am 
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