The Sixers at least have a foot in the door.
LeBron James' agent, Rich Paul, is meeting with the Sixers in Los Angeles on Sunday, NBC Sports Philadelphia has confirmed. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news and that James is not expected to attend the meeting.
Per The New York Times' Mark Stein, the Sixers' contingent will include managing partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer.
Dominoes have started falling across the NBA since free agency opened at midnight. However, the biggest one, James, has kept a relatively low profile.
James and Paul spoke with Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman over the phone just as free agency got underway, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin. Other than that, the only other rumblings surrounding the three-time champion and four-time MVP have been that the Denver Nuggets are attempting to make a hard run at him, according to Yahoo! Sports' Chris Mannix.
The one-time betting favorite to land James, the Los Angeles Lakers, also remain in the hunt. They are still seeking another star player to pair James with, which could include trading for San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard or free agent DeMarcus Cousins, who they reportedly have their own meeting with on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Sixers should relatively easily able to reach the required cap space for a max-level player such as James and can still attract another top-tier talent. Their preference would also be a trade for Leonard, who they feel would put them in “pole position” to lock down James.
Couple that with the chance to play with young studs Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons along with James’ close ties to the Rookie of the Year, and the Sixers should be as attractive a destination as any for the king.
Now it just comes down to the meeting. The Sixers know going in that James’ camp doesn’t want any elaborate free-agent pitch, but will their message be enough?