What happens when LeBron James hits free agency? NBA execs weigh in

Pop lovefest In January, James had this to say about coach Gregg Popovich: I think he’s the greatest coach of all time. And Pop had this to say about James: He is truly the king. Does that mean James is bound to play for Popovich’s Spurs? Of course not.

But San Antonio will have the ability to sign James next summer, and the Spurs have always been a stealthy team when it comes to free-agent moves. A tandem of James and Kawhi Leonard would give the Spurs a good base for challenging the Warriors.

Go with the darkhorse The Heat tied up their payroll this offseason, and can be pretty much eliminated from the possibility of luring James back to South Beach. But the Bulls, who made a pitch to James in 2010, are expected to at least inquire about James’ interest, even if there’s little chance he goes to Chicago. The same can be said for the Mavericks, who also made a push for James in 2010. It’s a longshot, but Dallas has consistently gotten involved with major free agents in recent years, even if the team has struggled to finish those deals.

I don’t want to put a precise timeline on it, but it’s inevitable at some point that we’ll start looking at the growth of franchises. That’s always been the case in this league, and Seattle will no doubt be on a short list of cities we’ll look at, the NBA commissioner said.

Silver went on to say expansion is more a matter of when than if at this moment.

The NBA has not expanded since 1995 when the league added the Grizzlies and the Raptors (though the Pelicans are considered an expansion team now).

I think it’s just a question of when the right time is to seriously start thinking about expansion, Silver said.

Until that happens, Supersonics’ alums will continue to try to get a team back to their city just like Allen doing right now.

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