It’s been a rough year for the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James. After eight straight NBA Finals appearances LeBron is on the verge of missing the playoffs entirely. On this episode I break down why LeBron’s move to Los Angeles can serve as a warning for future NBA stars in free agency.
It’s official. In storybook fashion Lebron James, the king, has returned to the kingdom he left behind four years ago. While Clevelanders welcome back James with aspirations that he will finally bring a championship to the city of Cleveland for the first time in over 60 years there is a sign that this fantasy may not last too long.
Lebron James is returning to Cleveland to try to bring a championship to his home city but doesn’t have a long-term commitment to the city. His new contract with the Cavaliers is 42.1 million over two seasons. The length of this contract brings up an interesting point. Is Lebron looking to win and run?
Listen Cleveland, it’s great that Lebron is back but his lack of commitment to a long-term deal proves that he will be weighing his options once again in two years. My prediction? Lebron is hoping he can win a title in two years, get the title monkey off his back in his hometown, and then see if there is a better team outside of Cleveland after two years.
See if Lebron really wanted to win multiple titles for Cleveland he would have signed a longer deal. He’s basically saying Cleveland I want to date you, but don’t want to marry you. If James can bring a title home, it will help his national image that he deserted his former team. Plus if he wins a title in Cleveland, can they really be upset? They will finally have the championship they covet so much and Lebron has given it to them. Why would Lebron only sign a two-year deal? I think he has his eye on one team in particular and is waiting to see what they do.
Lebron James is one of the biggest brands in sports. So why not go to the media capital of the world? With Carmelo Anthony returning to the Knicks the dream of Lebron to play with Melo could happen in two years. James maybe waiting to see what Phil Jackson does as a general manager and how the Knicks will handle next years free agency with the cap space they will have after unloading some of their bad contracts. If the Knicks can get a big piece in free agency next year, say Kevin Love, then it would be very difficult for Lebron to turn down a team with that much talent and in such a big market.
Listen, Cleveland is a young team. It may take a few years until this team is truly a title contender. If the maturation process takes too long Lebron may decide that it is time to go to a team that can win now. If Phil Jackson can build a great team around Carmelo Anthony in New York and Cleveland struggles to bring in other pieces, Lebron may break the heart of northern Ohio once again.
In two years I predict that Lebron James will look to go to New York after two seasons in Cleveland, especially if he can win a title with the Cavaliers. The two-year contract just proves that Lebron will always be looking for the team that he feels will help him win championships.
Everyone assumes that Lebron James is the one holding up the NBA free agency period. It’s an easy association. He is the best player in the world, and when he makes his free agency decision then the rest of the free agency dominos will fall. There is no question that whatever James decides will create a ripple affect across the NBA, however he may not be the one who has the biggest impact on free agency.
What if I told you that Chris Bosh is the key X factor for NBA free agency? Truth is that his decision would have a greater impact because it impact’s Lebron James’ decision. After opting opt of his contract, the consensus was that the Heat wanted to pay Bosh around 11 million dollars per year, a huge pay cut from last year. Now the Houston Rockets are reportedly offering Bosh a max contract worth reportedly 88 million dollars over four years. If Bosh decides to go to Houston to not only get paid but to also be a member of a title contending team, it would impact the entire league.
Let’s say Bosh goes to Houston. There are even reports that Pat Reiley has been pushing Bosh towards Houston encouraging him to take the money. That would open cap space in Miami for the Heat to get Carmelo Anthony. Lebron has been saying that the dream is to play with Melo and if Bosh leaves that would open up the cap space for Melo to play in South Beach.
That might not be the only scenario. If Lebron feels that Miami has lost too much with the loss of Bosh he may go back to Celeveland or sign a one year dear to see what the market is next year. Don’t forget that Melo may stay in New York for a max deal or that he may want to go to LA. An intriguing possibility is if James takes a one year deal in Miami to see how New York plays out.
While we await the decision of Lebron James, it maybe Chris Bosh’s decision that basketball fans should be paying attention to. This time around it’s Bosh’s decision which could change the NBA.
The madness starts now! Lebron James will once again be the main attraction in the circus of NBA Free Agency as he has opted out of his contract with the Miami Heat. Now Lebron James can once again change the entire complexion of the NBA like he did four years ago when he made the infamous decision to leave Cleveland for South Beach.
Does this mean that Lebron James is leaving the Heat? No, but he is sending a clear message. James is putting himself in the best position for himself and the team. By opting out he can take less money and open up more cap space in Miami. However, James has put the pressure on Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade to now take pay cuts. If they both so, James will be back and Miami will have the resources to add more pieces to their talented roster. However, if Bosh and Wade decided not to restructure and keep their high salaries, than James has put himself in position to test the waters of free agency.
Where would he go? New York and Chicago look to be out of the question. New York with their terrible cap space and lack of stars while in Chicago James would always be in the shadow of Jordan. Houston and Cleveland would have the pieces but a lot also depends of Carmelo Anthony.
If Carmelo Anothony decides to take less to play with James, then the two of them could team up somewhere. If Carmelo wants a max contract, then the Anthony James teacup will just be a fantasy. The most interesting place is Cleveland which still remains an interesting option. With a young and talented roster and being James’ hometown team, we could see a reunion in Cleveland. Not to mention there have been strong rumors that the Cavaliers working on a deal with Minnesota by trading the number 1 pick for Kevin Love. If Kevin Love joins the Cavaliers, it would be hard for James to turn down a team with that much young talent.
Even if Cleveland cannot bring in Love, they still have the first pick and could bring in either Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid to entice the King. But no matter what any team does to try to lure Lebron James, it’s up to Lebron where he plays. We know one thing, James will look to go to a team that he feels will be able to win him multiple championships. It’s going to be a crazy summer, but we will be here to bring you the latest on the Lebron James saga. The ball’s in you court Lebron, what are you going to do next?