|Posted by shawn cassidy on July 10, 2013 at 5:10 AM|
The free agent class next summer is weak, outside of James, Melo, Bosh, and Wade who are able to use their ETO to test the market. All four could very well waive that, and stick with their respective teams. The free agent class outside of those guys is okay. Paul George will be paid heavily by someone,if not by the Pacers. The one team getting a lot of buzz already is our long time rival the Lakers. They will have a cool 50 million to spend on potential free agents, like a James or Melo. The Lakers will only have one player under contract next season, and that's Nash on his final year. Which the Lakers could maybe move, or Nash may retire, who knows.
When you think about it. Will James really pick LA? He's already working on a mini dynasty in Miami. Would he really want to hurt his legacy by teaming up with Kobe? Would James want to follow in Kobe's footsteps in LA when he leaves,or even Magic for that matter who many compare him to. The big question for the Lakers, and Kobe is this. How much do you want to get paid(Kobe),and how badly do you want to win(Kobe). If Kobe truly wants to win. He takes a pay cut, and they just bring in loads of good players on good deals,and maybe a max quality guy. Another question is this. How good will he be after his first major injury this late in his career? The free agent class outside of James,or Melo coming won't make the Lakers contenders. The Lakers with all that cap space could take in contracts from trades, if teams want to part with their star players, and who wants to do that? Players will be available at some point for Lakers. Durant will be a free agent soon, and they will go after him, if they can't build right away. The Lakers don't have much assets such as picks, or young players also. So the bright lights, and beautiful weather may have lost it's charm while Kobe is still there.
What about Kobe? Would he consider leaving LA? I would have to say no, but as we find out yearly in the NBA. Anything is possible.As for Melo and Kobe. That wouldn't work. They're both the same offensive player. You thought James, and Wade had issues that first year. These guys love the ball, and I don't see either one giving an inch on that front. I believe Anthony stays in New York. The Knicks are kind of built like the Lebron Cavs teams. They have a bunch of guys who can score from the three-point line, but outside of that, nobody Melo can rely on. Amare hasn't panned out, mainly because of injury problems that have plagued him since the playoff series against the Celtics in 2011.
As for James in the big scheme of things next summer. He's got to look at this. The Heat are old, with none to little assets. No picks, or young guys. Norris Cole yes,and Chalmers are solid young guys, but those guys resemble the old Cleveland teams that couldn't get it done. Wade will be an old 32 with health issues. Bosh will be 30, and his game has been declining. The other factor is the cap space and luxury tax to keep this thing going. The Heat won't be able to go nuts every year with mid level exceptions, and other contracts. Unless their owner wants to pay 30 plus million in luxury tax.
So that leaves Cleveland. Yes, people are throwing that out there. Why shouldn't they. I think if James wants to come full circle, or whatever with his image and career. Then a return to Cleveland makes sense. He will still be in his prime, with 5-6 years to go. Cleveland will have the cap space to pickup Kyrie Irvings player option,and then some. They have loads of young talent that's not bad at all. Plus they could add Bynum, and if he can come back healthy, then you got a good center, if not a top five center. I would also think they could attract another solid free agent next summer, maybe a Paul George,or a Danny Granger, because the Pacers probably won't keep both.
Would James want to leave a possible dynasty? I think a 2peat isn't a dynasty. Do you? I think the magic number is three. But that's another topic for another day. In my opinion James won't leave the Heat if they win again. He could really push the door wide open in the Jordan conversation with a possible 4peat. If the Heat lose. I do think Cleveland becomes a possible reality.
I guess another way to look at is this. How can Dan Gilbert fix things with James, and does he even want to go down that road again? What about the fans? I think they would forgive, especially if he brought a title to Cleveland. Next summer will be even crazier perhaps more than the first decision.
Check this out from ESPN's loud mouth(Stephen A. Smith) who actually has got some things right.
"There is no guarantee that Carmelo Anthony will stay in New York. As a matter of fact, it's at least a 50-50 proposition, if not worse, that he may elect to leave," Smith said on his local New York radio program.
New York's lack of progress toward a championship and LA's potential ability to sign two max players in July 2014—depending on what happens with Kobe Bryant—will be strong pulls for Anthony, according to Smith.
"At that point, Carmelo Anthony will strongly entertain the possibility of leaving to go to Los Angeles," Smith said.
Smith also covered the possibility of Anthony playing for Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni, with whom he clashed in New York.
"Who says Mike D'Antoni's going to be there after next season, especially after the season the Lakers are expected to have (in '13-14)?" Smith said.
Smith also tossed in this juicy bit of hoops gossip: LeBron James could explore playing for the Knicks (as well as the Cleveland Cavaliers) after next season. Like Anthony, James can opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat next July and would prefer New York over LA if he leaves South Beach, Smith said.
Smith, though, said that for James to add the Knicks to the mix, New York would have to "miraculously" create cap room, and that outcome seems unlikely, especially with Amare Stoudemire being owed $45 million over the next two seasons.
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