NBA Rumors: LeBron James’ Demand for Max Salary Leaves 7 Teams in Play

Only 7 Teams Have Hope of Landing LeBron James

Lebron James Heat
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Well, it looks like LeBron James isn't so selfless after all. The self-proclaimed King reportedly will take nothing less than the maximum salary in free agency and isn’t worried about the length of the deal. However, there are only seven teams in the NBA that can currently offer James the projected max number of $22.2 million for 2014-15…and LeBron will reportedly entertain any offer. Let’s examine all seven teams' chances of landing James.

7. Utah Jazz

NBA All-Star Weekend
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7. Utah Jazz

NBA All-Star Weekend
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The ever-rebuilding Jazz have almost $31 million in cap space, so they can definitely afford King James, but there’s no way LeBron is going to play in a small market like Utah where he would have to carry a 25-win team. That would be Cleveland all over again for him.

6. Orlando Magic

12. Orlando Magic copy
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6. Orlando Magic

12. Orlando Magic
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This team has a very bright future with Victor Oladipo as its centerpiece and Aaron Gordon now added as a solid complementary star. LeBron would fit perfectly with these two high-flyers who move well without the ball and Orlando has over $24 million in cap space. However, LeBron would essentially have to play point guard for the Magic and that has never worked well for him in the NBA.

5. Philadelphia 76ers

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers
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5. Philadelphia 76ers

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers
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The seemingly ever-tanking 76ers also have a ton of cap space (nearly $32 million) with which to work, but neither of their 2014 NBA Draft picks are likely to play this year and it appears they are destined for another horrific season and lottery pick in 2015. Although he could get the cash in Philly, LeBron isn’t likely to play in the City of Brotherly Love — his skin isn’t thick enough.

4. Phoenix Suns

2) Will the Phoenix Suns 1st Round Pick in the 2014 NBA Draft Be Anybody Worthwhile?
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4. Phoenix Suns

2) Will the Phoenix Suns 1st Round Pick in the 2014 NBA Draft Be Anybody Worthwhile?
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This is where it gets interesting. The Suns have almost $38 million in cap space and are reportedly trying to land both LeBron and Carmelo Anthony in free agency. Although that seems very unlikely, Phoenix would jump at the chance to pay James $22.2 million for him to sign in the desert, regardless of what Melo does. The Suns were a 48-win team a year ago and have a solid core already, so they aren’t too farfetched of a new home for LeBron.

3. Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers Free Agents
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3. Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers Free Agents
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With just over $28 million in cap space, the Lakers are looking to spend big this offseason to try and give Kobe Bryant one more shot at a title during his last two years under contract. While a lot of folks think LeBron would like to play in a huge market like L.A., they’ve lost their minds if they think he and Kobe can coexist on the same team. Of course, stranger things have happened…

2. Dallas Mavericks

Mark Cuban Mavs Free Agency
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2. Dallas Mavericks

Mark Cuban Mavs Free Agency
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Besides staying in Miami, LeBron’s best option is to sign with the Mavericks. Dallas is a top-five market and already has a solid core with Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis and Tyson Chandler. Plus, Mark Cuban’s club can pay LeBron his max deal with nearly $7 million left to spare and the Mavs could possibly win 70 games in 2014-15.

1. Miami Heat

Ways LeBron Could Conduct The Decision 2.0
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1. Miami Heat

Ways LeBron Could Conduct The Decision 2.0
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With Dwyane Wade opting out of his deal to take less money and Chris Bosh reportedly doing the same, it looks like the Heat will give LeBron what he wants and then make Wade, Bosh and whoever else fit around him. Miami’s roster would look similar to 2010 with the Big Three intact and a bunch of nobodies around them, but it worked for two titles, so don’t count the Heat out despite their humiliating loss to the Spurs in the NBA Finals.

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