With a 51-point outing in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals, it's clear that LeBron James isn't giving up on his Cleveland Cavaliers, but that isn't stopping media from speculating about his free agency decision this summer.
Rumored landing spots include Houston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, but former teammate believes a team that nobody is talking about has a shot—the Portland Trail Blazers. Richard Jefferson made the claim on a recent episode of ESPN's Jalen & Jacoby, citing James' strong relationship with Nike and its co-founder Phil Knight as his reasoning.
"Obviously LeBron has a connection to Oregon because of his relationship with Nike," Jefferson explains to Joe Jacoby. "Phil Knight being a really big LeBron fan, I think wants to get him up there. I mean, they could build a whole new campus up there. Portland has now entered into the unfounded, irresponsible speculation of free agency around LeBron."
Jefferson is quick to point out that he has no real knowledge of James' thought process going into free agency and is only throwing his own speculation into the mix.
As things currently stand, Portland will have the NBA's eighth highest payroll next season, so significant moves would need to be made to shed enough salary to build an instant contender. When asked if Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard is appreciated enough ahead of a game back in March, James said, "Give me Damian Lillard. I'll show you how appreciated he'll be."