J.J. Redick is a smart man. He went to Duke, an excellent academic institution.

So when asked about any Ben Simmons-LeBron James comparisons, Redick slipped in this subtle recruiting pitch. “LeBron, I think, is the greatest player to ever play," he said.

The statement was made for interested ears. In other words, “Hey LeBron, the Sixers would be a great team for you to join in free agency after this season. Come play with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Markelle Fultz, Amir Johnson and me, J.J. Redick.”

If James, who can become a free agent after this season, decides to leave the Cavaliers, he could – and should – consider the 76ers, and executives around the league believe Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo will attempt to sign James.

The Sixers are an intriguing possibility, and if James’ goal remains competing for championships and Cleveland is no longer the place, the Sixers can make a compelling case.

Let’s start with rudimentary salary cap issues. The Sixers are one of a few teams who have significant salary cap space to use in the summer of 2018. They would need to make a few moves to get close to a $34 million max salary for James in year one, but it can be done.

Let’s also point out that James on media day in September said nothing has happened that has changed his stance about finishing his career with the Cavaliers. He also said, “Anytime I’m able to be a free agent or my contract is ending, I’ll approach that when the summer comes.”

But if not Cleveland, why not Philadelphia? As James gets older (he turns 33 on Dec 30), he will need a younger team filled with All-Star caliber players. The Sixers check those boxes. Simmons is 21, Embiid 23, Saric 23, Fultz 19, Covington 26, and Philadelphia has the second-youngest team and the third-most inexperienced roster in the NBA this season.