LOS ANGELES -- LeBron James says he has not prepared a list of potential free-agency destinations should he opt out of the final year of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer and does not believe his impending decision is affecting the Cavs' chemistry on the court.
"I've still got too much work to do here," James said, speaking about the Cavaliers' season, which has 18 games left before the playoffs. "One thing about me and my career, you probably don't know, you haven't been around me, that I handle my business accordingly, and when that time comes, I'll take care of that. But right now, my job right now is to get these guys prepared for the Clippers tonight and then how we can continue to get better going down the stretch."
James made his comments on UCLA's campus in Westwood, where he often plays pickup basketball in the summertime. He spent the Cavs' off day Thursday at one of the two homes he owns in Brentwood, a few miles away.
On Thursday, The Ringer published a story listing Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston and Cleveland as the four cities that James will entertain this summer.
Seeing as the Cavs are playing the Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers this weekend, he was asked about the hype linking him to the city.
"I understand that I'm a free agent at the end of the summer, so I understand the frenzy that comes with it," James said. "It's not my first rodeo, but I don't, it doesn't bother me. I don't talk about it too much. Like I said, I'll handle that whenever it comes, but it's, I understand that the conversation happens here because, first of all, they have cap space. And this league is much better when the Lakers, the Knicks and the Celtics are all good at the same time. That's just how it is. So that's what also creates the frenzy."
Part of the frenzy included a set of billboards recruiting James to the Lakers that were fashioned by a Lakers season-ticket holder this week and include the hashtag #LABron. This was after a Philadelphia-area company erected billboards in Cleveland recruiting James to the Sixers.
"It's the same as I stated when I seen the Philadelphia billboards," James said when asked about his reaction to the billboards, which he said he has seen online but not in person. "Listen, I'm 15 years into my career, and fans and cities want me to play for their team or have dreams. I think it's pretty cool. Listen, my kids see things like that, they think it's cool and I think it's cool. It's flattering more than anything, that a fan of a team or somewhere would want me to play for their city, so it's very flattering."
The Cavs' and Lakers' deal at the trade deadline, when Cleveland acquired Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson while sending back Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye, who are both on expiring contracts, opened up enough cap space for Los Angeles to pursue both James and another max-level free agent this summer.