At face value, hearing that LeBron James has left over $40 million on the table and has decided to become a free agent sounds like a pretty big deal.
Especially for Philadelphia, a city with a basketball team that was is far under the salary cap it has more than $30 million (per season) left to spend.
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But all signs lead to James returning to the Heat. And here’s why.
The Sixers, while wealthy in cap room and prospects, lack the ability to compete for a title right now.
If the 76ers wanted to take a real pass at getting the four-time MVP winner, they would need to add big pieces, and fast.
Sam Hinkie, Sixers GM is content to work things from the bottom up, drafting well and collecting young talent.
Three other teams are mentioned as possible landing spots, Cleveland, solely due to his Ohio ties and history with the Cavaliers, the Bulls, who have the room to sign him and can compete right now, and the Rockets, who can pair James with James Harden and Dwight Howard.
James has yet to sit down and meet with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, who might also opt out.
The Heat, if Bosh, Wade and James all take a pay cut, could still take a run at adding Carmelo Anthony to create a Big Four.
Heat team president Pat Riley said, in a statement, that he expected this to happen and also expects James’ return.