CLEVELAND — LeBron James denied talks of him touring high schools in Pennsylvania during the All-Star break.
"In Pennsylvania?" James said Thursday after Cavaliers shootaround. "No. What are you talking about? No. Over the All-Star break, no. I was on vacation and I went to Los Angeles."
James has a player option for the 2018-19 season worth $35.6 million. With salary cap flexibility and a promising young core, the Sixers have been mentioned as a possible destination if he leaves Cleveland.
Reports have been swirling of James, a father of three children, checking out schools in the Philly area after competing in All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.
"I've told this to a few other people, and I have no problem saying this, my brother lives in the Philadelphia area and he told me that LeBron, last week through a superintendent, was in the area checking out some private schools during the All-Star break," Sixers color commentator Alaa Abdelnaby said on Tuesday's edition of Philly Sports Talk.
The James-to-Philly buzz was heightened (literally) last week when the Philadelphia-based company Power Home Remodeling placed three billboards outside of Cleveland encouraging James to "Complete the Process." James was flattered.
In response, Malvern Prep, one of the schools James had been linked to, tweeted the image of a billboard reading "#MalvernWantsLeBron."
James has months to decide where he will play next season. Between his ties to Ben Simmons through sharing the same agent and considering Carson Wentz is one of his favorite NFL players, don't expect these talks to go away anytime soon.
In the meantime, James is focusing on the Cavaliers' matchup with the Sixers Thursday night.
"Obviously (Joel) Embiid is a load," he said. "So we've got to do a good job of just trying to make it tough on him. Ben's transition game, we've got to get back and load on him because he's a one-man fastbreak. Then the guys that complement those guys, with JJ (Redick), (Dario) Saric, (Robert) Covington, those guys shoot the ball extremely well, play well off each other. Then when their bench comes in we have to match that as well. T.J. (McConnell) kind of controls that whole tempo of their bench and the rest of those guys so we have to be ready for all of it."