Surprise LeBron James Suitor Emerges in Free Agency Rumors

The Los Angeles Lakers may reportedly face some competition in the free agent market for LeBron James.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are entering a pivotal offseason. They need to nail their head coach hire, make the right trades to turn the roster into a championship-caliber team, and make sure they retain LeBron James, who will likely hit unrestricted free agency after opting out of the final season of his contract.

The widespread assumption in NBA circles was that James would simply just return to Los Angeles on a more lucrative, longer-term contract. However, the latest report out of Philadelphia suggests that the Lakers will face competition from the 76ers to sign LeBron.

NBA Rumors: Sixers Emerge As Surprise LeBron James Suitor

According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Sixers are interested in acquiring James this summer. Philly's number one priority is signing Paul George, but if that falls through, they will reportedly take a shot at signing LeBron James.

"The Sixers do have their eyes on other lucrative-salary impact players just in case they don’t get George. That’s why they also are looking at potential free agents like the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby."

Keith Pompey, The Philadelphia Inquirer

That is certainly understandable from the Sixers. Philadelphia has the most cap space out of all playoff teams and general manager Daryl Morey is one of the most aggressive decision-makers in the league. They already consider themselves a team that is one piece away from a championship.

If LeBron James were that piece, it would immediately push the Sixers into a surefire championship contender. A trio of Tyrese Maxey, LeBron James, and Joel Embiid would be a scary one for the rest of the league.

Even though the Sixers have the ability to give LeBron the contract he desires, the 39-year-old superstar has shown no indication that he wants to leave Los Angeles. Even if he were to leave the Lakers, it's hard to see him going to the Sixers, where he has no history or connection with.

More Lakers news and rumors: