LeBron James free agency: Charles Barkley says no way LeBron will join 76ers

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The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the most intriguing potential destinations for LeBron James, should he choose to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and become a free agent this offseason. Joining an emerging team with a young core of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons could usher in a new era of Sixer basketball after years of self-imposed futility.

But outspoken TNT analyst Charles Barkley, who played in Philadelphia for the first eight seasons of his Hall of Fame NBA career, is adamant that James won’t be suiting up for the Sixers next season.

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“He’s not coming to the Sixers,” Barkley said Tuesday on The Mike Missanelli Show. “He’s not coming to the Sixers because he needs the ball, Simmons needs the ball and Embiid needs the ball. That would make Simmons useless.

“He’s not going to give the ball up at this stage of his career. He’s not a great shooter, so you can’t play him off the ball. I guarantee you [defenders] would let him shoot 3s all night. Guys would love him to shoot 3s. … It would hurt Embiid and Simmons going forward.”

Barkley is never one to mince words, and he certainly didn’t here. He makes some good points about the lack of shooting on a lineup featuring LeBron, Simmons and Embiid, but there’s also a line of thinking that suggests a group of players that talented will figure out how to play together.

For what it’s worth, oddsmakers disagree with Chuck, as the Sixers have the second-best odds to land James this summer at 11-5.

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