It was all good just a year ago. Lebron wins his 2nd ring. Lebron is king of the basketball world. He is in discussion as the greatest small forward of all-time. He was on the verge of a three peat but the San Antonio Spurs said ‘I’m gonna protect this house’ As of this morning, LeBron James told the Miami Heat upper management that he is opting of his contract and will become a free agent.
Free agency went from 0 to 100 nigga real quick. Real quick whole NBA on some real shit. LeBron was due $20.6 million this year as part of the 6 year/ $109.83 million deal he signed with the Heat. I mean they have been talking about this all year but it was just barbershop talk; you know the drunk talk or high talk you have with your friends. But now social media has gone wild with the LeBron memes, GroupMe chats were on fire as the discussion began like we were on the set of ESPN. The running joke is that I work for ESPN but what if i told you (morhpeus voice) that I had a phone interview back in 2009. Of course nothing turned from that but back to the man of the hour, LeBron James or as Mark Jackson would say “mama there goes that man”. Almost half of the league as of right now will have cap space with some intriguing teams like the Lakers, Cavs, Bulls and others. Now LeBron is once again the prize fish of free agency like he was in 2010.
Before everyone starts to play GM and say that he’s coming to their team just know even though LeBron will be a free agent doesn’t mean that his career with the Heat is over. In my opinion, this is the ultimatum to GM Pat Riley either you improve the team or I’m out. The thing about ultimatums is if they don’t do anything will LeBron really leave. For the other teams in the NBA they hope he does. Under the new bargaining agreement, Miami can offer him a 5 year deal worth about 115 million while a new team can only offer a 4 year/ 85 million deal. So that’s a difference of about 30 million, is that enough incentive for LeBron to leave or nah? If it he does leave then he’s back to rebuild a legacy mode like he was playing 2K. LeBron opting out is just allowing him to weigh his options. The media was in a frenzy when his wife sent a tweet, “We are coming home” regarding his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
Let’s face it, Dwyane Wade’s prime is coming to a close and Chris Bosh at times pulls a David Blaine and disappears from games. What’s interesting is that they both have the options to become a free agent as well. Maybe this is a scheme to opt out of their current contracts so they can sign new contracts at a discount rate so they can bring in new talent. Because if they stay with their current salaries, then Miami will be strapped for cash and won’t be able to help out the team. Other factors to consider is that Ray Allen will be 39 in a few weeks, Shane Battier retired, Mario Chalmers can leave as could Udonis Haslem and Birdman. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle and only person can put this together; the slick hair back man known as Pat Riley.
Even though their roster is a little older the fact remains that they went to 4 straight NBA Finals and successfully won 2. That’s not a small feat by any means but teams are getting younger, teams are becoming more financially savvy and scouts are really becoming the eyes and ears of an operation. It would be a shame to see LeBron leave at such a critical time, but if Pat Riley doesn’t deliver on his word then why should he.
If LeBron does resign with the Heat it will be a 5 year deal worth about $123 million but he would be 35 when that contract is up. Would he retire after this or keep playing? Would he earn another big payday at 35? If Kobe can do it, why not LeBron. Whatever LeBron decides to do it will the first story on every news channel in the world. Will he leave 30 million on the table or is another 5 years with the Heatles.
So where could he go?????? According to Spotrac, only five teams beside the Heat will have the cap space to offer James the maximum without making any other roster moves: Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers. They are other teams that could get involved like the Rockets, Wizards, Cavaliers and the rest of the whole NBA but they will have to make roster cuts some tougher that others but for LeBron James anything is up for grabs.
Philadelphia won only 19 games last year but Thursday could speak volumes of what the future holds for them. They have 7 picks in Thursday’s draft including the 3rd and 10th pick which could turn into 2 instant starters like Dante Exum, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon and don’t forget they also will have Nerlens Noel. After Thursday night, Philly can be a team on the come up and could even be enticing for the King to begin a new reign of terror.
I was speaking the Steven Cook, the East Coast spokesperson for the Dallas Mavericks (just joking) and he said, why would we want him we beat him the Finals then he said, sike i’m bullshitting hell yeah bring him on so he can learn how to shoot a jumper like Dirk and with Monta Ellis and company and an underrated coach in Rick Carlisle they could be instant contenders. LeBron has stated that the Mavericks are ‘probably the reason why I am who I am today’ which would be an instant boost to the Mavs, but it’s the task of getting out of the daunting Western Conference that poses the tougher challenge then winning the chip with all the improvements the conference plans to make. Would Cook wear a LeBron James Mavs jersey? So about those Utah Jazz…. next.
Then comes the Tinseltown Lakers with recruitment from the Laker greats starting with Magic Johnson, Jack Nicholson, Diahann Carroll and others that will try their damnest to get LeBron to come to the city that Magic built. Would Kobe be second fiddle to LeBron? Is there enough room in the stadium for both of their egos? Will Kobe still be Kobe? Can he remain healthy after 2 major injuries? Is 35 really 35 or did he go back into the DeLorean to 2002 and bring his fro and rap album with him. Even with LeBron, I don’t see them rising above the Pacific Division especially with the improving Clippers and Warriors( with or without Kevin Love).
There is always the Houston Rockets and that crafty GM Daryl Morey who has already stated that he has deals for Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to generate cap space for LeBron. A Houston Big 3 of LeBron, Harden and Howard would definitely bring Hakeem, Drexler and Sam Cassell out of the tunnel.
One of the most intriguing teams that could land LeBron is the Phoenix Suns. They were just one game from making the playoffs with a rookie coach in Jeff Hornacek and the emergence of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic made for one of the best backcourts in the league. They can actually offer LeBron the max with no roster moves and bring a style and flair that would make Charles Barkley say, ‘The Phoenix Suns are back’ They would be one of the most exciting teams in the league especially if they can keep Eric Bledsoe. Even if they can’t they have 3 first round picks on Thursday and 3 more the following year so this team will definitely be on the come up. Money, money…money moneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey…money is what the Suns have. They have enough to sign someone for the max this year and in 2015 and with those extra picks they can land another star player. There is so much potential in this pairing but will the media hype be too much for them? Will their expectations be so high that only method man and redman can reach it?
Of course I would love for him to come to the Wizards where the backcourt of Wall and Beal would bring all types of shine to the city or maybe they are waiting on Durant in 2016. But if LeBron did go to the Wizards the time would be now. For some it would be best if he stayed in Miami for others it would be poetic justice to come back to the place that he calls home; the Cleveland Cavaliers. I know you are supposed to be a forgiving man but after all the backlash he received especially from the owner Dan Gilbert unless I get the chance to put them paws on him, I am not going back to Cleveland.
This is a rendition of the Should, Could, Dream tour. Because he SHOULD stay in Miami, he COULD go to another team and now the GM’s must DREAM on how they can get the best player in all of basketball to their team.
Until then (cues the Sportscenter theme song)..da-da-da…. da-da-da