LeBron James won’t become a free agent until next summer but there’s no stopping the speculation of where he would take his talents next. He could be basking in the Los Angeles sun soon, rumors have it, but a source close to The King says it won’t be in a Clipper uniform.
According to The Undefeated’s Mike Wise, who appeared on ESPN Radio’s Freddie and Fitz show on Friday (h/t NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman), James has no intention of joining the Los Angeles Clippers.
“I got from a very good authority—a very good authority—that LeBron James will never be a Clipper,” Wise said. “I can’t tell you who, but I’m going to tell you it’s somebody that knows, and LeBron James will never be a Clipper. I don’t know if that’s because he remembers what the Clippers used to be, or he just doesn’t want to put his lot in there, or he thinks [owner] Steve Ballmer is just too animated on the sideline.”
Wise’s report comes roughly two weeks after The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t Feldman) said on his podcast that there are rumblings James could be bound for Los Angeles a year from now.
“Not only is there no guarantee he’s coming back, I’m not sure there’s an expectation he’s re-signing there,” Wojnarowski said. “I think they feel, I think within Cleveland and around the league, they feel that he’s very much in play to leave again and likely head out West to one of the two L.A. teams. The Lakers could very well be a target.”
Whether or not James is interested in pursuing a union with the Clippers, they have more immediate concerns to address.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are both headed for the open market Saturday, and the team will risk plummeting out of contention in the Western Conference if they bolt for new opportunities.
On Tuesday, Wojnarowski reported Paul and his agents met with the Clippers to discuss the future. They’re expected to “talk again soon.”
Griffin, meanwhile, opted out of the final year of his contract Friday and figures to be a hot commodity once free agency starts.
To this point in the process, Griffin has been linked to the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets—who have also circled Paul as a potential target, per ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
Along with the Rockets, Stein reported the San Antonio Spurs are expected to be in the running for Paul’s services.