San Antonio Spurs Free Agency

San Antonio Spurs: LeBron James and the 2018 free-agent speculation

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 27: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs fight for position during a game on March 27, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photos by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 27: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs fight for position during a game on March 27, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photos by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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It will be tough for anyone to sign LeBron James in 2018. For those hoping the San Antonio Spurs have a chance, don’t count on it.

Before the San Antonio Spurs re-signed Pau Gasol and extended LaMarcus Aldridge for three more years, the organization had a chance at signing a free agent at the maximum salary. Of course Aldridge, Danny Green, Rudy Gay and Joffrey Lauvergne all needed to opt out, but it’s a thing of the past.

If the Spurs had the necessary money, they could have targeted one of the biggest names, like Chris Paul or DeMarcus Cousins. Would their odds be great? Maybe. Maybe not. The possibility had the chance to be intriguing, however.

Then, there’s LeBron James, who will hit free agency and have the chance to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers, again. Without a contract extension in place, it means potential suitors will line up to pony up roughly $35 million in annual salary, as ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst said in their piece on James’ future. Included in this, is the “long-shot” chance of him signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Shelburne and Windhorst noted how the Spurs could enter the James sweepstakes “for the sake of conversation.” Except without the necessary $35 million to provide him annually. The same will go for the New York Knicks.

In the likely chance, the three-time NBA champion hits free agency, it could impact the Spurs, whether they sign him or not. He’ll pause the open market until making a decision on his basketball future. That means San Antonio and the other 29 teams will wait, and once James’ domino falls, everyone will pounce on the remaining free agents. So, it could make for a frantic period or something that extends into the middle of July, as it doesn’t seem guaranteed that the 32-year-old will return to Cleveland.

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Free agency could be intriguing, as always, in the NBA’s next calendar year. James will get the chance at a major contract, while the Spurs wait it out and make their move.

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