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LeBron James wants Johnny Manziel to be the No. 1 pick

Miami Heat superstar LeBron James was the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, and he's hoping Johnny Manziel is the No. 1 pick in this year's NFL draft.

"Being a huge supporter and friend of Johnny, I want him to go No. 1," James said during a Heat news conference. "Wherever he lands, he's going to be a heck of a football player for that franchise."

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Manziel has a business relationship with James. Manziel has hired Fenway Sports Management to oversee his marketing. When Fenway Sports Management, in partnership with LRMR Management -- James' marketing company -- announced it had signed Manziel as a client in January, the Boston Globe reported that the goal was to help Manziel "transcend sports and become a global brand in the mold of James."

The two also appear in a McDonald's ad.

What about Manziel going to Cleveland, James' former stomping grounds?

"If he happens to go to Cleveland, then I'll have two 'family members' there in him and Donte Whitner," James said.

Whitner, a safety, is a Cleveland native who is a longtime James friend. Whitner spent the first five seasons of his NFL career with Buffalo; he was the Bills' first-round pick in 2006 out of Ohio State. He played for San Francisco from 2011-13 and signed with Cleveland as a free agent in March.

Bad news for LeBron: Manziel is an unlikely choice at No. 1. He seems much more likely to end up in Cleveland than in Houston.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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