LeBron James sweepstakes: A closer look at where the basketball star could go

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts during Game Seven of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on May 27, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND — It is the question America wants to know: Will he stay or will he go? Will he opt in or will he opt out? It is the season of speculation for the NBA world and where LeBron James will play next season. He has to decide on whether or not to opt in or opt out of his player option for next year by Friday, June, 29.

Many believe it’s a two-horse race between Cleveland and L.A. with Philadelphia and Houston being the two dark horses. Here is the LeBron James sweepstakes as they play out for each team.

L.A. LAKERS:

-Cap space- The Lakers have the room to add two max contracts

-Versatility (young players)

-Front office, historic franchise, LeBron James has two homes in L.A.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS:

-This is home

-His legacy/Why go West? (LBJ would have to go through Houston and Golden State just to make the NBA Finals)

-Can sign the max deal with Cleveland. The Cavs own his “Bird rights,” which means they can go over the salary cap to pay him a maximum salary. (Up to five years, $207.4 million.)

PHILADELPHIA 76ers:

-Young, talented roster

-Top 3 in Salary Cap space ($26.2 million)

-Big time sports market (team on the risel they were the three-seed last year in the Eastern Conference Playoffs—some believe they peaked a year earlier than expected)

HOUSTON ROCKETS:

-1 win away from eliminating the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.

-Big 3-LBJ, Chris Paul, James Harden

– Could play with the league MVP last season (James Harden)

Remember, even if LeBron James opts out on Friday, that doesn’t mean he can’t re-sign with the Cavs and return to Cleveland. For now, the wait continues.

**Continuing coverage**