It’s still a year away, but already the NBA is consumed by the possibility of LeBron James opting out of his contract after the 2017-18 season. James is rumored to be interested in joining the Lakers and playing for Magic Johnson.

Should we believe the LeBron-to-L.A. rumblings?

“Of course I believe it,” NBA-TV analyst Rod Higgins said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “If you think about the name LeBron James and when you hear information that starts to come out of somewhere – maybe his camp – usually it’s pretty true because they’re setting the stage. LeBron is such a great thinker and thinking ahead. Just see how he plays the game: He’s always thinking a play ahead. So I’m sure he’s always thinking one year, two years, three years down the road ahead of what his moves are going to be. I wouldn’t be surprised at all (if he left Cleveland).”

 

 

James has played in seven consecutive NBA Finals – four with Miami and three with Cleveland. He is a four-time MVP and three-time Finals MVP, but he is also 3-5 in the Finals and keenly aware of how that could affect his legacy. If James doesn’t believe he can win another title – or two or three – with the Cavs, he could seek that opportunity elsewhere.

“If you went to Vegas, you should probably put a few bucks and say, ‘Yeah, he’s probably going to leave,’” Higgins said. “Because he’s letting (that idea) out through his parties, through his business partners, whomever. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he left.”

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