Gregg Popovich will reportedly try to get the San Antonio Spurs into the LeBron James conversation this summer.
The San Antonio Spurs’ offseason officially begun with the end of the 2018 NBA Finals. That will include a meeting with Kawhi Leonard, up to seven free agents and the draft on Thursday, June 21.
Amidst this is the storyline on LeBron James, who can become a free agent for the third time in his career. After “The Decision” Part 1 (the Miami Heat) and Part 2 (the Cleveland Cavaliers), and with the way James’s Cavaliers lost in the Finals, speculation has surrounded his potential dive into the open market, pending he exercises a player option.
Who will be in the mix for James? Aside from the usual suspects, the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers, Marc Stein of The New York Times reported that Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich plans to “force his way into the conversation” to secure a meeting with the four-time NBA MVP.
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It’s the first indication that San Antonio will try to get into the mix, which may satisfy some Spurs fans if they desire James’s talents in the Alamo City. They would hardly be the only team to meet with him, though, with the aforementioned 76ers and Lakers, the Cavaliers, and whoever else thinks they stand a chance, along with mutual interest.
However, for the Spurs, to pull off this feat is easier said than done.
Even with everyone that can become a free agent, three of them are restricted free agents and three more have player options. But, if none of them stay, the Spurs still must clear cap room. Pau Gasol and Patty Mills have double-figure contracts that could make enough space, but finding a team to take their salaries of $16 million and $11.5 million, respectively, might have its difficulties.
Basically, it would require the roster breakdown that the Silver and Black never does. Maybe this rumor signals how Popovich is willing to do this, but until momentum swings in one direction or another, it remains a guessing game.