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July 01, 2018

Sixers set to meet with free agent LeBron James in Los Angeles

Sixers NBA
Ben Simmons LeBron James Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) and Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) during a game at Wells Fargo Center.

It's. All. Happening.

Maybe. 

But also, maybe not.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Philadelphia 76ers are preparing to meet with the NBA's top free agent on the market, LeBron James, who opted out of his contract in Cleveland late last week, and his team of representatives on Sunday to make their pitch.

Following discussions with team and league sources, PhillyVoice was able to learn and/or confirm several details about the meeting first reported on by Wojnarowski.

As Wojnarowski first reported for ESPN, Brett Brown will be the voice leading discussions for the Sixers in the meeting with agent Rich Paul. He will be joined by other senior officials, including the Sixers ownership group, which should be taken as a sign of how serious this meeting is from Philadelphia's perspective.

Though the public view had seen the odds tilt in favor of the Los Angeles Lakers over the last couple weeks, the Sixers have remained steadfast in their optimism about selling James on their organization and their vision. The Lakers have more present-day cap space to make moves, but the Sixers believe their combination of more "ready" young talent and flexibility to make further moves will aid them in the hunt for James.

Reports have circulated in recent weeks that there are concerns about James fitting alongside Embiid on multiple levels, but Sixers officials have shot down such claims privately. The Sixers have long been optimistic about the relationship between Simmons and James in particular, but in recent weeks team representatives have expressed additional optimism to PhillyVoice about James' respect for Embiid and Simmons on and off the court. If James doesn't come to Philadelphia, the Sixers do not believe it would be because of any concerns about their on-court future.

So how exactly were the Sixers able to pull off this last-minute pitch meeting? That's a question yet to be answered. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid were in Los Angeles recently, but Simmons was in Australia as recently as this morning in connection to a family matter. Regardless, the Sixers do not feel deterred by the meeting only involving James' representatives and believe they are in a strong position as James continues to deliberate.

Obviously, stay tuned for any updates.


MORE SIXERS: Source: Sixers guard Markelle Fultz will not participate in Summer League | What LeBron James declining option means for Sixers free agency hopes | Cutting Some Slack: Would you rather have LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard or Paul George on the Sixers?


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