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Charles Barkley: No way LeBron James signs with 76ers

One of the biggest stories set to emerge this coming offseason once an NBA team is crowned champion without question will be the future of LeBron James, which of course should come as no surprise.

James is expected to exercise his player option and become a free agent and there has been no shortage of rampant speculation and abject guesswork concerning where James may go next.

To hear it from Charles Barkley, though, the Philadelphia 76ers — considered one of the more attractive potential destinations for James — have no chance of landing the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar.

Barkley said James will not be signing with the Sixers “in any form, shape or capacity.” The TNT analyst and onetime 76ers great insisted during an interview Monday on Philly’s 97.5 The Fanatic the team is a bad match for James due to the presence of budding phenom Ben Simmons.

“LeBron won’t fit with the Sixers because he’d take the ball out of Ben’s hands,” Barkley said, via Philly.com.

As noted, Philadelphia certainly would seem to be an ideal situation for James to enter, with the considerable young talent assembled on the team highlighted by the presence of Simmons, Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz. Even a Philadelphia-based company put up billboards to openly plead with James to join the Sixers.

The billboard campaign craze took off from there, with places as far away as New Zealand, of all places, getting in on the action.

James has said on numerous occasions that he finds such gestures “flattering.” However, James has also consistently stated such talk is for another time as he is solely focused on leading the Cavaliers to another appearance in the NBA Finals.

With all that said, it’s interesting that Barkley holds such strong opinions on James’ future, as least as it pertains to a possible union with the Sixers. But as it has been made abundantly clear in the past, there’s arguably no way to predict what James may or may not do as it relates to his career.