>To say that this year’s Cavs season-ending series was a disappointment would be the under-statement of the year. Well the NBA season at least. To have the best player in the league and just flame out like that is uncharacteristic of both Lebron James and his teammates. But the question likes more with why did it seem as if Lebron just quit towards the end of the series? Is it because he found out about those rumors of his mom and Delonte West? Well anyways, below is a breakdown of some of the teams Lebron could go to this summer outside of Cleveland, because I don’t think he is coming back.
Teams with a Good Shot
Miami - This in essence may be the most attractive place for him for one reason: they can offer TWO max contracts. So that means that he could play with his buddy D Wade in a lineup that would compete in the East right away! From this year’s squad, they have D-Wade, Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, James Jones and Daequan Cook with contracts for next year. And Wade (player), Chalmers (team) and Jones (team) have options in their contracts. The only thing that may deter Lebron from coming to the Heat would be the uncertainty of the players, outside of Wade, that would be playing around them. A nucleus of Wade, Beasley, Cook and Chalmers is a nice start, but how does that stack up against those of other teams?
New York – The Knicks pulled off some ridiculousness at the trading deadline this year, trading away players for some crazy expiring contracts. Tracy McGrady, Al Harrington, Cuttino Mobley, Brian Cardinal and Chris Duhon all have contracts over $6 million that expire. The only big contract that can come back is Eddy Curry, who has a $11.3 million player option for next year. Outside of him, the other returning players’ combined contracts come out to about $10 million. Because of this, they have the possibility of signing two max-contract players. One thing that might be nice for Lebron would be the exposure he would get by playing in New York, but will he be any closer to a title with the likes of Curry, Danillo Gallinari, Sergio Rodriguez and Wilson Chandler around him?
New Jersey – The one true thing that the Nets have over some of the other schools is Jay-Z, a partial owner. He and Lebron have formed a bond that might entice Lebron to come to Jersey and play for the Nets. The Nets have seven players under contract for 2010-11, plus a very affordable $854,000 option on Chris Douglas-Roberts. Included in those seven players is Devin Harris, who when healthy is one of the top point guards in the East, if not the entire league. Add Brook Lopez and that would be a nice 1-2-3 punch. And let’s not forget about the possibility of getting the top pick in the draft, which will be John Wall.
And finally…the hometown Chicago Bulls – That $31.85 million under contract includes the Bulls’ core of Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich, along with Taj Gibson and James Johnson. With seven roster spots accounted for, the Bulls will have about $20 million, enough to dangle a max contract in front of one of the top-tier free agents.All of them will be around for at least the next two or three years, but will that be enough to convince Lebron to come to Chicago? The best rebounder in the league, statistically, and one of the best young players in the league make for a nice young core. Will this help the Bulls tho?
Either way, the summer promises to be a fun one. Plenty of teams will have $$ to spend and this has to be one of the best free agent classes in recent memory. In a couple weeks…let the excitement begin!