Gregg Popovich reportedly could get involved in recruiting LeBron James to the Spurs this summer

  • LeBron James can become a free agent on July 1.
  • The San Antonio Spurs are among the rumored potential landing spots for James.
  • Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who James thinks highly of, could reportedly get involved in the recruitment of James.


In three weeks, LeBron James will hit the free agent market with no certainty of where he'll land.

Among the rumored destinations has been the San Antonio Spurs, a team that checks several of the boxes when guessing what James would like: a strong culture, championship potential, surrounding talent, and a head coach he admires.

Indeed, James has not made it a secret that he admires Gregg Popovich, even once stating that he would love to one day play for Popovich.

6 PHOTOS
LeBron James and Gregg Popovich's relationship
See Gallery
LeBron James and Gregg Popovich's relationship
USA Olympic Men's Basketball team member LeBron James (L) talks with assistant coach U.S. coach Gregg Popovich after their scrimmage game against Puerto Rico in Jacksonville. USA Olympic Men's Basketball team member LeBron James (L) talks with assistant U.S. coach Gregg Popovich after their scrimmage game against the Puerto Rico National team in Jacksonville, Florida, July 29, 2004. The team will play its first practice game against Puerto Rico on July 31 in Jacksonville as they prepare for the 2004 Summer Olympics which begin in Athens, Greece on August 13, 2004. REUTERS/Tami Chappell
SAN ANTONIO - NOVEMBER 3: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers gets attention from Greg Popovich, head coach for the San Antonio Spurs, as the Spurs host the Cavaliers at the AT&T Center November 3, 2006 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2006 (Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JUNE 20: LeBron James #6 and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat hug Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs following the Heat's victory against the Spurs in Game Seven of the 2013 NBA Finals on June 20, 2013 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - JANUARY 23 : LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shares a laugh with head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs at the end of the game at AT&T Center on January 23, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 23: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs hugs LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers before the game between the two teams on January 23, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 23: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers high fives Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs on January 23, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

This summer could present that opportunity, and according to The New York Times' Marc Stein, Popovich may get involved in the recruitment of James.

"I've also been advised that the ever-persuasive San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich is bound to try to force his way into the conversation to sell James on the merits of South Texas," Stein wrote.

James going to the Spurs isn't quite as easy as merely choosing them. The Spurs don't have cap space and would likely have to trade big-salary players like Pau Gasol (due $16 million in 2018-19) and Patty Mills (due $11.5 million in '18-19).

Much of it would surely depend on the lingering Kawhi Leonard situation, too. The Spurs are reportedly determined to keep Leonard after going through a falling-out with the star forward during the season. But if Leonard requests a trade, it could throw a wrench into getting James, who would surely want to play alongside Leonard.

The majors "ifs" surrounding the Spurs represent one of the great quandaries of the offseason — there's no perfect fit for James. Teams with salary cap space might not be the best basketball fit, and teams that would be a good basketball fit for James have several hurdles to go over to landing him.

NOW WATCH: NFL cheerleaders reveal the best and worst parts of their job

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Rumors of where LeBron James will land in free agency have been swirling for months — here are his most likely destinations

Read Full Story