LeBron James

David Richard/USA Today Sports

Report: LeBron James doesn’t want elaborate pitches this time around

Connor Donahue
June 25, 2018 - 11:23 am

The LeBron James free agency circus is back for Round 3, but the 33-year-old seems to want to handle things differently this time around.

Sources close to James have told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that he doesn’t plan on hearing big, elaborate recruiting pitches from teams as has become the norm in the NBA.

This is a far cry from the 14-time all-star’s first free agency stint in 2010. Six teams flew in to pitch their franchise and James informed the nation of his decision to “take his talents to South Beach” in an hour-long TV special.

James has until Friday to inform Cavaliers GM Koby Altman whether or not he will pick up his $35.6 million player option for next season. If he does not, James will officially become a free agent.

The Cavs selected standout Alabama point guard Collin Sexton with the No. 8 overall pick hoping a promising young guard would entice James into staying. Sexton will likely not be enough to keep James from testing the waters and there are a number of teams said to be on James’ list.

According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, James will have meetings with seven teams: The Rockets, 76ers, Lakers, Warriors, Cavs, Heat and Celtics. If the C’s are truly considering making a run at signing the four-time MVP, they’re going to need a new approach.

Back in July 2016, the Celtics sent a contingent to the Hamptons to try and lure Kevin Durant away from Oklahoma City. The group included coach Brad Stevens, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, a few players and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

It didn’t necessarily impress Durant. In an interview with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami, Durant said, “I mean, I love Tom Brady, but I don’t know if he can help me if he was on the court with me right now.”

The theatrics didn’t work in 2016 and they certainly will not work now. If the C’s hope to court “The King” they’ll need to go back to the drawing board.

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