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LeBron James rumors: 'Doesn't like Houston,' son playing in Los Angeles

LeBron James rumors: 'Doesn't like Houston,' son playing in Los Angeles

Free agency is still weeks away but we’ve already reached peak silly season in the NBA.

LeBron James, who is expected to opt out of his deal with the Cavaliers, will be the most sought-after free agent for the third time in his career.

Among his suitors will be the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and, of course, the Sixers. While we all search for breadcrumbs on where the King will make his new kingdom, we may all be going a little too crazy here.

First, news came out Monday that LeBron’s son, LeBron Jr. (or Bronny for those in the know), has committed to play basketball at Sierra Canyon High School near Los Angeles. That rumor was shot down by the school fairly quickly.

The fact that Bronny may play at a high school in the Los Angeles area is not a sure sign James will play with the Lakers. James’ family has been in the L.A. area for years while he’s played in Cleveland. Who’s to say that wouldn’t continue if he signs in Houston or Philly? Maybe we shouldn’t be using Gary Payton as our source for breaking news(?)

And remember when Sixers fans all freaked out over the rumor that James was sizing up private schools in the Philadelphia area for his son during the All-Star break? Those were fun times.

Then today a report hit the Twitter machine that James “doesn’t like Houston as a city.” So there you have it. No Rockets for James. With all due respect to Marla Ridenour, the columnist from the Akron Beacon Journal that broke the scoop, this really doesn’t tell us anything. For all we know, James said this as a joke or after sitting in Houston traffic for an hour or after having a bad experience at a restaurant. 

If he views the Rockets as his best chance to win another championship, I strongly doubt the city of Houston will deter him from signing there. The dude grew up in Akron and played in Cleveland for 11 seasons. I think he can handle Houston for a season or two.

Let’s all take a deep breath here. There will be real, legitimate news coming on James' decision when he makes it. As tempting as it is, maybe we shouldn’t hop on every rumor that’s out there. Even Vegas is tempering its expectations until LeBron makes his decision.

James has until June 29 to opt out. Until then, don't eat up all the breadcrumbs.

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Sixers rookie Jonah Bolden suffers leg injury while playing for Delaware Blue Coats

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AP Images

Sixers rookie Jonah Bolden suffers leg injury while playing for Delaware Blue Coats

Sixers rookie big man Jonah Bolden suffered a right leg injury on Saturday while playing for the Delaware Blue Coats, the team's G-League affiliate.

In a statement, Sixers vice president of athlete care Dr. Daniel Medina said that an MRI Monday revealed Bolden has a small cortical crack in the proximal fibula of his right leg. He will be re-evaluated in 10 days. 

The 6-foot-10 Bolden, the No. 36 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, has had limited opportunities for the Sixers in the early stages of his rookie season. He's gone back and forth between the Sixers and Blue Coats several times.

He played his only non-garbage time minutes on Nov. 9 vs. Charlotte and Nov. 10 at Memphis, posting five points, seven rebounds and three steals in 25 combined minutes over those two games.

The Sixers' bench is currently thin in the frontcourt. With Wilson Chandler starting at power forward, Mike Muscala and Amir Johnson have been the team's only backup frontcourt options.

Johnson is averaging a career-low 10.2 minutes. His minus-9.0 net rating is second-worst on the team.


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What it would take for Sixers to land Bradley Beal

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USA Today Images

What it would take for Sixers to land Bradley Beal

The floundering Wizards are reportedly ready to sell.

Their most attractive trade piece is 25-year-old guard Bradley Beal. Beal is coming off his first All-Star appearance and his contract isn’t too prohibitive.

I know what you may be thinking: Go get him, Elton! There’s no question the idea of adding a player like Beal would give Brand’s squad a loaded roster. If you add Beal to Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the Sixers could make serious noise.

Before you get too excited about this idea, let’s see how logical it actually is.

Theoretically, the Sixers could make it work money wise — at least for this season. If the team were to send Markelle Fultz and Wilson Chandler to the Wizards for Beal (more on the actual compensation part later) that deal would work financially. The Sixers have a $2,526,840 trade exception from trading Dario Saric, according to Spotrac. The issue would occur in the seasons going forward.

Beal still has two years on his deal after this season. His cap number is over $27 million in 2019-20 and over $28 million the following season. Butler will be a free agent this offseason and with the way he’s looked so far, the Sixers will have to pony up.

Simmons will also be eligible for a max extension this summer. If he agrees to a deal, the extension will kick in during the 2020-21 season, the last year of Beal’s deal. With Butler likely making somewhere around $37 million annually on his new contract, Embiid making north of $29 million and Beal over $28 million, it makes this scenario less feasible but definitely not impossible. 

The NBA’s salary cap is “soft” so the Sixers could become a luxury tax team. There are a couple questions that would need to be answered. Would Sixers ownership be willing to become a luxury tax team? Josh Harris has implied in the past that they would be. The other question: Is Beal the guy you want to go over the luxury tax for? He might be.

The actual compensation is going to be the other sticking point. Fultz and Chandler make the money match but you’d most certainly have to throw in the 2021 unprotected Miami first and possibly more, like Zhaire Smith or Landry Shamet. Chandler has value as an expiring contract and draft picks/young players will certainly appeal to an organization looking to blow things up.

But then you have to wonder if Washington would have any actual interest in Fultz. Putting aside his struggles for a second, the Wizards still have John Wall. Of course the aforementioned report names Wall as a player they’re trying to move but that could be difficult with the pricy extension Wall recently signed. Wall and Fultz would be an untenable backcourt situation.

Is it possible that Brand could pull the trigger on a deal for Beal? Sure, but even if the Sixers have enough financial flexibility to make it work, they may not be able to offer enough compensation.

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