Report: Delay in LeBron James’ decision could be “for theater;” Lakers still favorites

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at New Orleans Pelicans
Oct 28, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) is defended by New Orleans Pelicans forward DeMarcus Cousins (0) during the first half of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are awaiting a decision from LeBron James as the star forward chooses where to play next season. The Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers are considered to be the two teams vying for his services but the Philadelphia 76ers have entered the fold after scheduling a meeting with James’ agent.

The Lakers lost out on Paul George early after the free agency period started as the forward re-signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder. With one of their star targets off the market, it’s unclear whether that will make James hesitate on moving to Los Angeles.

The Lakers are seemingly in Plan B mode, scheduling a meeting with Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins as a potential All-Star teammate to lure LeBron. But according to Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer, it may be unnecessary as several people around the league believe LeBron’s mind is already made up:

“Yes, the Lakers are still favorites—but not total locks—to sign LeBron James, league sources say. For what it’s worth, some executives believe LeBron’s indecision is all theater, and he has already decided on the Lakers as his new team”

The Lakers have also been in the mix for trading for disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard but those talks have seemingly stalled for now.

It’s a good sign for the Lakers that they are still favorites for LeBron in the eyes of some league experts. But until he signs on the line, there’s no room to be confident in that becoming a reality. LeBron may be focused on a lifestyle choice and making his family happy, but winning championships is still clearly an important goal for him and the Lakers have to sell him on the vision of competing every year.

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