MIAMI – The LeBron James-to-Philly campaign appears to be underway.
James can become a free agent in July, and the 76ers have been mentioned as a possible destination.
Power Home Remodeling, a roofing and remodeling company based in Chester, put up a series of three billboards in the Cleveland area on Monday morning recruiting the Cavaliers’ superstar to Philly. The billboards, which are on Interstate 480 in Cuyahoga County, will remain up for three months. The billboards, likely inspired by the Oscar-nominated motion picture, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” are placed near the Cavs’ practice facility in Independence, Ohio.
A Philadelphia-based company put up three billboards on highway to downtown Cleveland this morning saying that city wanted LeBron. Here they are in order. pic.twitter.com/vntsa8h3mE
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 26, 2018
“It was really just trying to get the talk that LeBron should come to Philly because it’s an amazing city, and it’s a place he can come win titles right away and establish himself as the best player ever,” Power Home Remodeling CEO Asher Raphael told Philly.com of the billboards. “He would love playing here.”
The first billboard is an image of a basketball court featuring the jersey numbers of the possible starting five, assuming James joins the Sixers next season, with a crown on top of King James’ No. 23. Next to that in the backcourt is Ben Simmons’ No. 25. Then there are No. 33 (Robert Covington), No. 21 (Joel Embiid) and No. 9 (Dario Saric) in the frontcourt. James’ jersey number is maroon, while the others are blue.
The middle billboard reads, “COMPLETE THE PROCESS.” This is a play on the Sixers’ slogan of ‘Trust the Process” for fans to remain patient during the four seasons of tanking.
The last one reads, “#PHILLYWANTSLEBRON.”
The Sixers will have enough cap space available next season to give James a lucrative contract.
“The whole idea of ‘The Process’ was getting these young kids to build a foundation and create some cap space, and then bring in one or two veterans,” Raphael said. “I think this is exactly what [former Sixers general manager Sam] Hinkie’s design was.”
Important game for Sixers
Tuesday’s game between the Sixers and the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena could have huge playoff seeding implications. The Sixers (32-26) have the seventh-best record in the Eastern Conference. The Heat (31-29) have the eighth best. The top eight teams at the conclusion of the regular season advance the playoffs.
A victory would give the Sixers a three-game lead over Miami. It would also give them the two-team tiebreaker should they finish with the same record. That’s because the Sixers have already won the previous two meetings. The teams will play their fourth and final season series game on March 8 in the Heat’s arena.
Ilyasova reaches buyout with Hawks
Ersan Ilyasova and the Atlanta Hawks completed his buyout with the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. He is scheduled to clear waivers on Wednesday evening and is expected to reunite with the Sixers. The 6-10 three-point specialist was averaging 10.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 46 games this season, including 40 starts.
The Sixers previously acquired Ilyasova, 30, on Nov. 1, 2016, from the Oklahoma City Thunder, along with a 2020 first-round draft pick, in exchange for Jerami Grant. Ilyasova averaged 14.8 points and 5.9 rebounds and shot 35.9 percent on three-pointers in 53 games — 40 starts — with the Sixers. However, the Sixers traded him to the Hawks on Feb. 22, 2017, with a 2017 second-round pick for Tiago Splitter and two 2017 second-round picks.
Assuming he clears waivers, the Sixers will have to waive one player to create a roster spot. Reserve power forward Trevor Booker, who is in the final year of his contract, could be a candidate to be waived. The Sixers acquired him Dec. 7 from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas and a 2018 second-round pick.
Philly.com reporter Rob Tornoe contributed to this article.